CHENNAI: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa on Saturday demanded a revision of fuel price policy, as she lambasted the frequent hike in petrol and diesel prices.
“This is a betrayal of the middle and lower classes,” Jayalalithaa said in a statement.
“Even before the ink had dried up after signing the hike in prices of diesel recently, the Centre is increasing the price of petrol by Rs1.50 and diesel by 45 paise. I strongly condemn this anti-people action of the Central government.”
Jayalalithaa demanded that Centre withdraw its order allowing oil companies to fix prices and also rollback the latest hike.
She said the present pricing policy and deregulation had resulted in fuel prices going upwards.
Jayalalithaa said the prices would remain under control if they were based on rates of domestic crude and the cost of its refining, that of imported oil and its refining besides the value of a stable foreign exchange, she said.
Instead, diesel rates were determined on the basis of trade parity price due to which oil companies are making huge benefits.
“These profits are swindled from people and such wrong pricing policies result in price rise,” she said.
Jayalalithaa had last week demanded that the existing pricing policy be changed.
Monthly review of diesel prices was a venom being thrust on people in instalments, as hike in fuel prices will result in increase in prices of essential commodities, she said.
The opposition Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), a key partner of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) that runs the Centre, joined in the condemnation of petrol price hike and demanded that government retain its control on pricing of petroleum products besides seeking a change in pricing policy.
Party chief M. Karunanidhi said the issue had become similar to that of attacks on Tamil Nadu fishermen by Sri Lankan navy with political leaders issuing statements expressing concern during such incidents whereas “it seems neither Indian government nor Sri Lankan government are bothered” even as there was no end to the attacks.