New Delhi, May 30: The CPI on Friday warned the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government against any move to hike petroleum prices and announced that it will launch nationwide protests against price rise next week.
Declaring that the Centre had ignored alternate options recommended by the Left parties to deal with the soaring global oil prices, the party said the government was instead "seeking the easy way out" to impose "hefty" burden on the people. The CPI National Council stated that a hike in petroleum prices would adversely affect the prices of commodities in general and asked the people to protest when a hike in prices of petrol is announced.
The party has already announced a protest on price rise on June 6.
On Wednesday, the CPM had asked the government to levy a 'windfall profit tax' on private, Joint Venture (JV) oil firms and private refineries.
"In no case can the UPA government pamper the private oil companies to make windfall profits and, at the same time, increase the price of petrol and diesel and burden the people further when they are suffering from steep price rise of essential commodities," CPM Politburo said in a statement.
It suggested the imposition of 'windfall profit tax' on private and joint venture oil producing firms as well as private standalone refineries "earning huge profits through import parity policy of pricing".
With crude prices passing $100 per barrel, "it is necessary that windfall gains be recovered from all private and joint venture oil producing companies like M/S Cairns, Reliance, Essar etc. extracting oil and gas in India," the statement said.
It added that when these contractors participated in the New Exploration Licensing Policy, "none of them could have envisaged crude prices beyond $ 30 a barrel."