Shutdown against fuel price hike unjustified: Deora

New Delhi, July 4 (IANS) Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Murli Deora Sunday said the shutdown called by opposition parties against the fuel price hike was ‘totally unjustified’ as the increase will have ‘minimal impact’ on the common man.

‘The bandh call given by opposition parties is totally unjustified in view of the minimal impact of the recent price rise on the common man,’ Deora said in a statement.

He said the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was ‘misleading’ the people.

‘These parties have been instrumental in notifying the deregulation of the prices of petroleum products and reducing subsidies in November 1997 and in implementing the programme from April 2002,’ he said.

The strike, he said, was ‘against the interest of the common man and poor people, daily wage earners who could be deprived of their wages, besides causing inconvenience to the public at large’.

Deora reiterated that the hike in fuel prices was minimal.

The increased price of kerosene by Rs.3 per litre translates into an increase of only 50 paisa per day per family. The price increase of domestic LPG by Rs.35 per cylinder means an increase of less than Rs.1 per day per family,’ he said, adding that the impact of the increase on the common man was negligible.

The government June 25 ordered decontrolling of the prices of petrol, as part of a plan to move towards a market-determined fuel price regime in accordance with the Kirit Parikh Committee recommendation. This resulted in an increase of Rs.3.50 per litre in the price of petrol.

The minister said the price increase in four petroleum products would have marginal impact on the rate of inflation.

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