Coimbatore, Feb 5 : Activists of Communist Party of India (Marxist) CPI-M here today staged a protest rally to oppose any increase in fuel prices.
State Secretary, N. Varadharajan, said that the aim of the demonstration was to pressurize the central Government not to hike fuel prices.
"The present price rise affecting the people. If the government increases the petroleum price, we will intensify the protest against the central Government and we will also call for a state wide shutdown," he added.
The Left parties, who provide the ruling coalition with a parliamentary majority, said, any hike in fuel prices would have a "cascading effect on the prices of all commodities".
India, which imports about two-thirds of its crude consumption, has not raised prices since reducing them in February last year while global oil prices have jumped more than half.
The Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh was scheduled to discuss recommendations of the Group of Ministers (GoM) on Monday, but the meeting was deferred.
Petrol price are likely to go up by Rs 2 a litre and diesel by Rs 1 a litre together with some cut in excise duty on the two fuels.
Last week, four of the seven-member GoM on fuel prices, headed by External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee met and decided to leave the final decision to the Cabinet.
Earlier, crude oil prices had touched an all-time high of 100 dollars a barrel thus triggering fears of more under-recoveries by oil Public Sector Undertakings (PSU).