New Delhi: The Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government on Sunday ruled out withdrawal of its decision to increase the fuel prices even as the opposition parties closed ranks to observe a nation-wide strike on Monday to protest the move and the inflation.
Following Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s endorsement that the decontrolling of petrol prices, which led to a Rs 3.50a litre increase in petrol rates, finance minister Pranab Mukherjee said that there would not be any roll back. No question of roll back,Mukherjee said on the sidelines of a function organized by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India in Kolkata. The government on June 25 decided to deregulate the prices of petrol, raising it by Rs.3.5 per litre and also indicated that it would take away the subsidy for diesel too. The price of diesel rose by Rs.2 per litre, kerosene rose by Rs3 per litre and cooking gas by Rs35.
Addressing a news conference in New Delhi ahead of the strike on Monday, opposition National Democratic Alliance (NDA) working chairperson L.K. Advani alleged that the government has become insensitive to the inflation. Pointing out that Monday would be the first time when almost all l political parties joining a strike,
Advani said: Despite so much increase in food prices, the government has increased the prices of petroleum products.
Apart from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led NDA, Left along with other non-NDA opposition parties would observe a country-wide strike demanding a roll back of the fuel price increase.
The inflation has touched 10.56% in May.