New Delhi, Jan 18 (ANI): The Bharatiya Janata Party today condemned the decision by the Congress-led UPA Government's decision to deregulate diesel prices, saying that the move will burn a hole in the pockets of farmers and traders, increasing their expenditures.
Oil Minister Veerappa Moily on Thursday announced that the state-run oil marketing companies can now raise diesel prices in line with increases in global crude oil prices.
Talking to reporters in New Delhi on Friday BJP spokesperson, Prakash Javadekar dubbed the decision as 'anti-people'.
"Diesel price hike is a real blow to common man because this will upset their budgets, farmers and common man alike because all transport costs, goods will increase and it will have a very cascading effect, increase in the overall prices.
"So, people who are reeling under the price rise for the last five years will suffer more and that is how this is anti people government which has taken an anti-people decision," said Javadekar.
India imports 80 percent of the crude oil it refines into diesel, and benchmark Brent crude prices were at their highest annual average on record last year at around $111 a barrel, significantly raising its energy bill.
He added that the people would take to the streets against the decision.
"People are not fools, people know the intention of the government are bad and they want to raise diesel prices by 10 rupees per litre. It will be whopping (increase) after it was increased by 8 rupees last year. 2012 saw 8 rupees increase, 2013 will see 10 rupees increase. This is absolutely unacceptable and that is why people will protest on streets and in parliament," said Javadekar.
Diesel accounts for about 40 percent of India's fuel consumption, and the government currently loses 9.6 rupees for every litre of diesel sold. (ANI)