Strongly condemning the latest round of hikes in the prices of petrol and diesel effected from the midnight of Saturday, Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa demanded their immediate withdrawal as they would adversely affect the poor and middle class people.
“The fuel price hike comes a day after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh admitted that the inflation rate was indeed high.
Today’s hike would only aggravate the inflation, which in turn would have a cascading impact on the prices of essential commodities,” Chief Minister Jayalalithaa said, here in a statement.
She said hiking the fuel price citing the fall in the value of rupee against the US dollar and the geo-political reasons could not be accepted and blamed the knee-jerk reactions of the UPA government for the fall in the value of the rupee.
In this connection, Chief Minister Jayalalithaa recalled the view of former Reserve Bank Governor Subbarao that the basic reasons for the fall in value of the rupee were domestic structural factors.
“Until the Central government takes steps to rectify these domestic structural factors, the government cannot stem the rupee’s fall.
“At least from now on, the Centre should initiate efforts to set right these issues,” Jayalalithaa said.
Chief Minister Jayalalithaa also reiterated her view that the Central government should revisit its present policy for fixing oil prices based on the crude oil price in the international market. This policy would only pave the way for oil companies earning more profits and not benefit the common people.