New Delhi, July 4: In the wake of the recent hike in diesel prices, Delhi Government today assessed its impact on the common man and examined the possibility of giving further relief.
A meeting of the Cabinet, presided over by Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, deliberated on the issue at length, but did not take any decision considering "complexities" involved in it.
Following the recent hike in LPG and diesel, Delhi Government had last week had the diesel price by 37 paise and offered a subsidy of Rs 40 per LPG cylinder to BPL and Antyodaya families.
Diesel now costs Rs 40.75 a litre in Delhi for all consumers while a LPG cylinder cost Rs 355.35 for families covered under BPL and Antyodaya schemes.
Price diesel had gone up to Rs 41.12 after the last hike of Rs 3 a litre, while domestic LPG price went up by Rs 50 a cylinder and kerosene by Rs two a litre.
Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, when asked whether her government was considering further cut in diesel prices, did not give a specific answer but indicated that the matter is under consideration.
"Let us see what happens in the next one-two months," said Dikshit, refusing to speak further.
As the recent hike came in for sharp criticism, sources said Dikshit, who holds the finance portfolio. was particularly keen to provide more relief to the people but the tight financial position of the government has forced her to offer only marginal relief on diesel prices.
The huge spending on various infrastructure projects in the run up to the Commonwealth Games last year had made a severe dent on financial resources of the city government.
Officials indicate that government has the option of slashing the VAT on diesel. VAT on diesel in Delhi is 12.5 per cent.
As the Municipal Corporation election is due early next year, Dikshit is understood to have been worried about the anger of the people following the hike.
The Chief Minister's apprehension, sources said, is that if Congress performs badly in the MCD polls, then her detractors in the party would try to put the blame on her for deciding to split the civic agency into three parts.
Dikshit has been pushing hard for trifurcation of the MCD despite opposition to the move by a section of the Congress.
The government has already sent its proposal to this effect to the Union Home Ministry for clearance following which a bill will be tabled in Delhi Assembly.
The Chief Minister wants to complete the process of splitting the MCD ahead of the municipal polls. PTI