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Centre Unlikely To Roll Back Petrol Price Hike

New Delhi, Nov 5: The controversial hike of Rs 1.80 a litre in petrol prices is unlikely to be rolled back, according to highly placed government sources, who dismissed criticism of the decision by Trinamool

PTI Updated on: November 05, 2011 18:39 IST
centre unlikely to roll back petrol price hike
centre unlikely to roll back petrol price hike

New Delhi, Nov 5: The controversial hike of Rs 1.80 a litre in petrol prices is unlikely to be rolled back, according to highly placed government sources, who dismissed criticism of the decision by Trinamool Congress by describing its leader Mamata Banerjee as “a compulsive populist.”


The government appears to be unfazed by sharp reaction of allies such as Trinamool Congress, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), DMK as well as opposition parties with the sources disagreeing with the view that there was “much political heat” on it.

A Cabinet Minister, who did not wish to be identified, said Mamata Banerjee was part of the Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM) that in June 2010 had decided to deregulate or free petrol prices.

“She (Mamata Banerjee) had not attended that EGoM meeting of June 25, 2010, but her consent was taken. She continued in the Union Cabinet after the decision was made and did not threaten even once to withdraw support,” the Minister said, adding that the decision to hike petrol price was in line with the empowerment that government has given to oil companies last year.

The oil companies were forced to hike the petrol price because of the double whammy of high crude oil prices in the global market and the rupee's depreciation against dollar, making imports costlier.

“She (Mamata Banerjee) is a compulsive populist. When we have ally like them we don't need opposition BJP,” the Minister added.

Sources said the state-owned oil companies took the decision to hike prices on their own and were not required to consult anyone in the government.

They added that the government does not want to become unpopular, but sometimes it is forced to take unpopular decisions. “It is not that the government is running for Nobel price for unpopularity. Government does unpopular things only when it becomes inevitable,” said a source.

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