Jaya flays Centre for fuel price hike, demands rollback

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Chennai, Jun 4 (UNI) Former Tamil Nadu chief minister and AIADMK General Secretary J Jayalalithaa today hit out at the Congress-led UPA Government at the Centre for hiking the prices of petroleum products and demanded its immediate rollback.

In a statement here, she said the steep hike in prices of petrol, diesel and cooking gas would severely hit all sections of the society and condemned the Centre for passing on the huge burden to the people.

This was the eighth time that the UPA Government had hiked the prices of petroleum products in the last four years at an average of a hike per six months, she said.

Rejecting the Centre's contention that it had no option but to hike the prices in the wake of the steep rise in crude oil prices in the international market, Ms Jayalalithaa claimed that this was aimed at hoodwinking the people as India does not import crude for all its needs.

If the UPA Government was really interested in controlling the rate of inflation and protecting the interests of the poor and downtrodden, it should come forward to compensate the losses of oil companies by waiving excise and customs duty on petrol and diesel, she said.

The Centre's decision to reduce excise duty by five per cent would not help the people, she said, demanding that the DMK Government in Tamil Nadu reduce the sales tax on petrol and diesel and help the Centre in this hour of crisis and provide succour to the common people.

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