Malhotra to Chidambaram: Walk the talk; slash petrol, diesel prices

November 22nd, 2008 - 7:28 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata PartyNew Delhi, Nov 22 (IANS) Seeking relief for consumers, Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) chief ministerial candidate for Delhi V.K. Malhotra Saturday asked Finance Minister P. Chidambaram to reduce petrol and diesel prices following the slump in international crude prices. “Chidambaram had promised relief to consumers in the prices of petrol and diesel as soon as the crude prices fall to around $65 per barrel. Now the import price has come down to around $45 per barrel but he has refused to effect any reduction in prices,” Malhotra said in a statement.

“With the fall in crude oil prices, (fuel marketing) companies are pocketing a profit of over Rs.10 per litre of petrol sold. While Chidambaram has been asking the industries to cut prices, he seems to be most reluctant to effect any reduction in the fuel prices, which are making a heavy dent on the pockets of the ordinary consumer.”

Malhotra noted that Petroleum Minister Murli Deora had cited the code of conduct coming into force in six states where assembly elections are underway for not reducing fuel prices.

“Perhaps he has overlooked that his government feels no pangs in announcing the hike in salaries and pensions of every category of government servants without attracting any blame for infringement of the election code. How is it that any announcement about the reduction in oil prices would invite displeasure of the Election Commission?” he questioned.

“In any case it is the consumer who suffers. There is every case for the government to cut taxes to reduce the burden on the consumer,” he added.

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