Don't hike petrol prices without rationalising price policy: BJP

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New Delhi, Jan 14 (UNI) Opposing the move to increase the petrol price on the premise that the crude price had touched 100 dollars per barrel, the BJP today asked the Government not to burden the common man without declaring the petroleum pricing policy with revenue neutralisation by adopting the recommendations of Finance Commission.

BJP spokesman Prakash Javadekar said it was ironical that the government was seeking to burden the consumer who was already paying the highest prices for petroleum products in the world.

The Government was seeing the tax revenues from the petrol consumption as a source of revenue without adopting a helpful stance towards the users of petroleum products at a time when it was no longer a luxury item but an input for the growth of agriculture and movement of common man, he added.

The revenues to the exchequer has doubled this year from Rs 70,000 to Rs 1,40,000 crores and the govenrment should stop seeing this as a source of revenue but help the people by reducing the taxes.

Accusing the UPA government of going back on the promise to blend petrol with five per cent ethanol, the BJP spokesperson said it was four months after the Finance Minister had made this promise but nothing has been done so far because of pressure from the liquor and petroleum import lobbies.

The government had fixed the price at Rs 21.50 per litre of ethanol and over 250 sugar units are capable of producing 220 crore litres of ethanol. If these cash strapped units were allowed to produce ethanol, the sugar industry would become healthy as these units did not have storage space for the piling sugar stocks, he added.

The BJP condemns the inaction on the part of the government to implement its promise to gradually increase the ethnol blending to 10 per cent in a few years. A policy decision was taken by the NDA government but this government had applied brakes on the scheme and now it was not being allowed to implement the same by the lobbies, Mr Javadekar said.

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