Oil companies 'looting' public: Jaya

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Chennai, Jun 18 (UNI) Former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and AIADMK General Secretary J Jayalalithaa today condemned the public sector oil companies for making available only premium petrol and diesel in most of the petrol bunks in the state.

In a statement here, she alleged that the Centre, after hiking the fuel prices, remained a ''silent spectator'' when the oil companies were ''looting'' the public by making available only premium petrol and diesel in the pumping stations.

She said though the Centre hiked the price of petrol by Rs five and diesel by Rs three, oil companies were selling premium petrol at the rate of Rs 59.20 and diesel at Rs 39.50, forcing people to pay Rs 9.70 more for petrol and Rs 5.06 for diesel.

Adding to the woes, the oil companies had raised the oil prices by Rs 20 per litre, she said and regretted that both the DMK Government in the state and the Congress-led UPA Government at the Centre ''remained mute spectators.'' Ms Jayalalithaa, quoting her reports, said the oil companies were forcing the pumping station owners to sell only premium petrol and diesel. Following this, the bunk owners had convened a meeting to decide the next course of action, she said.

As the Petroleum Ministry had no say in fixing the price of premium fuel prices, the oil companies were fixing the prices according to their convenience and if this trend was allowed to continue, the companies would continue to raise the prices of petrol and diesel, hitting the poor and middle class people, she added.

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