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Petrol price hike: Even Congress does not like it.

New Delhi, Jan. 18 -- With the ruling UPA ally Trinamool Congress reacting strongly to the Sunday's petrol price hike, the Congress too was on the backfoot on Monday over the issue. It asked oil companies to clarify the rationale behind the increase in public as it had angered the people.

Though speaking disapprovingly of the increase in petrol prices by Rs5 in a month, the party remained non-committal on whether the policy of administered price mechanism needs a re-look.

While party leaders said that increase in petrol prices is bound to happen corresponding to the rise in internal pricing of petroleum products, party spokesperson Manish Tewari told reporters, "but a Rs5 hike in one month does seem a tad unfair". Tewari said, "It is incumbent upon companies to put the justification in public space. What is the rationale of that increase must be told to the public... It does rightly so agitate the mind."

"I don't think any government or any company would like to unnecessarily burden common people. But the reasons for this increase must be properly put in public space and I am sure if the reasons are not proper, the government will intervene...in democracy it is incumbent upon government and public sector companies to explain the rationale of any such decision," Tewari added. He was reacting to questions on why the party was not giving a clear view on the issue of price mechanism for petroleum products.

"It will be a case of putting the cart before the horse," he said when asked whether the party would ask the government to reconsider the issue of administered price mechanism in the wake of hikes in petrol prices in the last few months.

On Mamata Banerjee's strong reaction to the hike, Tewari said Banerjee or any other ally is expressing the sensitiveness towards common man and recalled that Congress president Sonia Gandhi had also flagged the issue of inflation during the party's plenary and expressed her concern. Maintaining that "inflation was an issue of concern", Tewari said that Gandhi had "specifically said that the government needed to work on it".

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Publication:Asian Tribune (India)
Date:Jan 18, 2011
Words:384
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