CHENNAI: Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on Wednesday urged the Central government to roll back the latest hike in the prices of petrol and diesel saying that it would have a cascading impact on the prices of essential commodities resulting in hardships to the poor and middle class people.
In a statement here, the Chief Minister said the hike in oil prices had been effected in accordance with the international prices of petrol and diesel and the value of rupee against the US dollar. The variation in the value of rupee against US dollar depends upon various parameters in global economy - depreciation of value of foreign exchange in China; increase in the interest rates of Central bank of United States; repayment of investments made by foreign financial institutions in India etc. “Setting up of a separate fund for these transactions will be the solution,” she said and added that increasing oil prices based on these developments would be unacceptable. She said it would be unfair to fix the prices of petrol and diesel in accordance with the international prices.
Jayalalithaa also pointed out that the excise duty on petrol and diesel was levied at 86 per cent and 76.1 per cent respectively. Since November 2015, the Centre had levied Rs 11.77 as excise duty on petrol and Rs 13.57 on diesel. Hike in oil prices would eventually increase the freight charges of private vehicles leading to a hike in prices of essential commodities, she added.
Meanwhile, listing out the side effects of a fuel price hike in his Facebook post, DMK Treasurer M K Stalin said that it would lead to spiraling of prices of essential commodities. PMK founder S Ramadoss also demanded the BJP-led government at the Centre to rollback the hike in fuel prices, warning that it would cost the national party in the assembly elections in Tamil Nadu.