New Delhi, Apr 18: Stating that the rise in petroleum prices was affecting the economic growth and the life of the poor directly, Congress Member in the Rajya Sabha Vijay Darda today demanded that the government cut down a number of taxes and duties to bring down the final cost of oil for the consumer.
Moving a Private Member's Resolution on the oil price rise, adulteration in petroleum products and their diversion to non-intended beneficiaries, he said various duties and taxes add about Rs 25 to the price of petrol per litre, so if these taxes were reduced, it would make a sizable difference to the price.
Pointing out that as per an assessment the oil price rise had reduced the economic growth by one and a half to two per cent, he said the government should come out with a clear response to the situation and introduce structural reforms in the oil sector.
Mr Darda also demanded that the government pay more attention to exploration of new reserves of oil and research on alternative fuel to meet the challenge arising out of the globally rising prices of petroleum products.
He wanted the Petroleum Ministry to clarify its policy on ethanol and the steps taken to develop alternative sources of oil.
The resolution also sought to draw the government attention to the need for modernisation of oil technologies and clearance of pending projects relating to oil.
Speaking on the resolution after it was declared by the Chair as moved, Mr E M Nachappan of the Congress said foreign companies should be allowed to set up their units in the country to give competition to the existing ones.
He wanted the Government to make laws that would require the Indian companies acquiring and setting up units in foreign countries to ply back some of the profit to their home country, arguing that it was after all with massive loan of their country's banks that they were making these acquisitions.
Mr Nachappan also wanted subsidised petrol for common salaried people of the middle income group. He said the rich can afford to pay more for the petrol, so they should be made to do so, but the common man earning a fixed salary should be helped out.