CPI (M) takes on Govt. over diesel hike, to hold nationwide protest

Kolkata, Jan. 18 (ANI): Taking on the Congress-led UPA Government for de-regulating the diesel price, Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader Sitaram Yechury on Friday said that his political outfit would hold a nationwide protest to oppose this anti-people move.

Yechury said the CPI (M) not only opposes this move of the Centre, but also condemns it.

"And, we think this attitude of the government that in order to reduce their fiscal deficit, they will reduce the subsidies and whatever little relief they are providing for the poor. But at the same time give massive tax concessions to the rich. It is a very blatant policy of favouring the rich against the mass people. This is a set of policies that we will thoroughly oppose," Yechury said.

"We are preparing for a nationwide opposition to this, which will take place on the 19th of March and it will culminate in a big rally at Delhi. And the Budget Session of Parliament is coming, so inside the Parliament as well this protest will be there. So, we from the CPM and we appeal to other Left secular parties that in the interest of the Indian people they must come out and oppose these moves," he added.

Yechury further said that the de-control of diesel prices is aimed at giving super massive profits to all the oil companies.

"They are not calling it de-control of diesel, but in affect it is actually de-control of diesel prices. And the de-control of diesel prices is aimed at giving super massive profits to all the oil companies who are now trying to match Indian diesel prices with the international prices, which makes completely no economic sense and common sense because India imports crude oil and it refines that crude oil to produce diesel or petrol or kerosene," Yechury told the media here.

"But the price of these products must therefore be calculated on the basis of cost of production in India. Where does the international price come into being at all? Now, using that as an excuse they are burdening the Indian people. And the Government of India is creating avenues for such massive profit generation for these private companies and this will be both now, foreign as well as Indian companies, at the expense of the Indian people," he added.

Talking to the media after the meeting on Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs in New Delhi yesterday, Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dr. M. Veerappa Moily said that there is no increase in the prices of diesel and kerosene.

Dr. Moily, however, said that the oil companies have been permitted to raise diesel prices by a small quantum periodically till such time that they are able to cover Rs 9.60 per litre loss they incur on the fuel.

Dr. Moily, who refused to provide details of diesel price increase, said the raise may take place as early as tonight.

The government also raised the cap on supply of subsidised LPG cylinders to nine bottles from six per year.

"I am happy to inform the Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs has decided to raise the cap on subsidised LPG to nine cylinders per household in a year from existing six cylinders," Dr. Moily said.

The consumers will get a quota of five subsidised cylinders between September 2012 and March 2013. They will be entitled to nine cylinders per annum from April 1, 2013. (ANI)

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