CPI warns Centre against hiking petrol, diesel price

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Chennai, Jan 20 (UNI) Describing the Centre's proposed move to effect marginal hike in the price of petrol and diesel as the last straw that breaks the camel's back, the Communist Party of India (CPI) today threatened to launch a nationwide stir if the government went ahead with the price hike.

Talking to newspersons here after the three-day national executive, CPI general secretary A B Bardhan said the party was totally opposed to the marginal hike in the prices of petroleum products.

Asserting that any increase in prices of petrol and diesel would have a cascading effect on Indian economy, he said it would be the last straw that breaks the camel's back.

The Left parties would launch a nationwide agitation if the Centre went ahead with its proposed hike, he said and added that the Centre, in turn, should consider reduction in customs and excise duty on crude oil instead of burdening the consumers.

To drive home his point, Mr Bardhan pointed out the additional revenue of Rs 40,000 crore earned by the Centre from excise and customs duty on crude oil during the last two years.

To a question, he reiterated the Left parties, opposition to the Indo-US nuclear deal and said there was no change in the stand.

While welcoming formation of a separate Telangana state by carving it out from Andhra Pradesh, Mr Bardhan opposed to the idea of constituting the second States Reorganisation Commission. ''No reorganisation commission was formed when new states like Jharkhand, Uttarkhand and Chhattisgarh were formed,'' he added.

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