New Delhi: Expressing his helplessness over the hike in the petrol prices, Oil Minister Jaipal Reddy on Friday said that the matter was beyond the control of the government and categorically stated that there would be no rollback for now.
Addressing the media in the national capital, the Oil Minister clarified that the global price was beyond government’s control and said that the petrol price hike, which has seen unprecedented protests by the Opposition and the allies, was for the long term gain.
Reddy told reporters, “I have met Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee today and we have decided to consult state governments too (over the steep hike in fuel prices).” However, he added that the government will watch the situation for a few days.
He further said, “One is aware of the problems caused by these two (petrol price hike and rupee depreciation) massive developments…We at the ministry cannot remain indifferent to your problems.”
Understanding the need to find an instant solution to this issue, he said,” there is a need for commentators and people to appreciate the decision (petrol price hike).”
Although he maintained that oil marketing companies should not suffer owing to spiraling cost of crude oil in the international market, he emphasised upon the need to re-structure taxes in the state level.
Speaking on diesel and other fuel price hike, Reddy said that he would urge for a meeting of Empowered group of Minsters (EGoM) to decide on diesel, LPG and Kerosene prices.
Earlier in the day, Reddy attended a meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in which Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee along with members from the Reserve Bank of India were also present.
The meeting comes after the fuel price hike of Rs 7.54 a litre effected Wednesday midnight. After protest from all quarters, there were reports of at least a partial rollback of the decision.
Reddy was not in the country when the petrol hike announcement was made. Reddy left for Turkmenistan on his official visit on May 22 and a day later oil firms raised prices by Rs 7.54 a litre in Delhi.
With Agency Inputs