Jayalalithaa slams hike in prices of diesel, petrol

Chennai: Slamming the latest hike in prices of diesel and petrol, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on Monday said while the Centre was getting revenue by revising excise duty, it was passing the burden on the common man which was “an unjust act”.

Jayalalithaa said since last November, excise duty on diesel and petrol had been hiked five times, at Rs 6.90 and Rs 8.35, respectively.

“It is an unjust act that the central government receives revenue for itself but forces the price hike on ordinary people,” she said in a statement.

Referring to yesterday’s revision of petrol (36 paise) and diesel (87 paise), she said the Oil Marketing Companies (OMC) had reasoned the changes in rupee-dollar value for effecting the increase.

“While there is no significant change in global oil prices, increasing the rates based on rupee-dollar value basis is not fair,” she said.

She said changes in the value of Indian rupee to that of US dollar was based on the demand for the American currency, besides fluctuation in stock market due to factors like outflows of foreign investment.

The chief Minister reiterated her opposition to continuation of the UPA-era price fixation policy of fuel products, where the rates were determined based on import prices of crude.

The latest revision of fuel prices will result in a spurt in rates of essential commodities which would affect the poor people, Jayalalithaa said while demanding that the revision be rolled back.