New Delhi, Dec 14: CPI General Secretary A B Bardhan today took strong exception to the setting up of a Group of Ministers (GOM) to decide upon a ''marginal hike'' in the fuel prices.
Addressing a press conference, Mr Bardhan said the Left was opposed to any such hike in fuel prices and suggested certain measures including reduction in the excise duty to avoid the increase. ''We are vehemently opposed to the government's move to set up the GOM and the government should rather drastically take steps to reduce the excise duty and the sales tax to tide over the problem,'' said Mr Bardhan.
The GOM headed by External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukerjee had been set up to decide the ''marginal hike'', said Mr Bardhan.
It is expected to decide a possible hike in the fuel prices to partly offset the mounting losses incurred by the state-run Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) in the facing of spiralling global crude oil.
The Left parties have been asking the government not to hike the fuel prices saying that this would eventually lead to further price rise and put burden on the poor, the lower and the middle classes who are already suffering because of high prices of essential commodities.