New Delhi, Nov 17: Any increase in the retail prices of petrol and diesel should be the last resort of the government to tide over the situation arising from the galloping oil prices in the international market, the Congress said today.
''The AICC is well aware of galloping oil prices in world markets. It calls upon the Congress-led UPA government to explore and exhaust all options before passing on any additional price burden to consumers,'' the party said in a resolution moved by External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee at the AICC session here.
At the same time, the AICC agreed with the view that subsidies -- whether of kerosene, cooking gas, food or fertilizer -- must be focused on the truly poor and vulnerable, the resolution said.
The party's opposition to hiking the oil prices comes in the wake of the rising crude prices which are close to 100 dollars a barrel in the international market and the series of meetings Petroleum Minister Murli Deora had with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Finance Minister P Chidambaram to find out ways to meet the situation.
Keeping the retail prices of petrol and diesel stable in the phase of rising prices in the global market has resulted in the prospect of oil marketing companies suffering a staggering loss of about Rs 1,00,000 crore in the current fiscal.