New Delhi, June 4 : Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has urged the citizens to bear the burden of a modest hike in prices of petroleum products in the interest of the nation and the future generations.
In his address to the nation this evening, Dr Singh said, the Government is committed to ensuring that the impact of the global oil shock is minimal.
He said the Government would protect as large a section of society as possible from its effects by sharing 90 per cent of the burden of about two lakh crore rupees of losses due to high international crude prices.
Dr. Singh said, when the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) came to power in May, 2004, crude oil price was 39 dollars per barrel and it has gone beyond 130 dollars per barrel on Wednesday, an increase of over three times.
Asking the countrymen to learn to adjust to this new international scenario, the Prime Minister called for efficient and economical use of energy.
He said issuing oil bonds and loading deficits on oil companies is not a permanent solution to the problem, as the burdens will be passed on to our children, who will have to repay this debt.
He said, with a substantial burden being borne by the Central Government and the oil companies, it is also incumbent upon state governments to contribute to this national effort by suitably reducing state taxes and levies.
Urging the citizens to conserve energy at every step, every minute of the day by reducing wasteful consumption, Dr. Singh underlined the need to develop alternative sources of energy including nuclear energy.
The Prime Minister said, the government will continue to pursue policies that will make the growth process more socially inclusive, more meaningful to all sections of society, more beneficial to farmers, artisans and industrial workers.