New Delhi, Dec 20:The Samajawadi Party (SP) MPs had an unexceptional demand after the brief adjournment of Lok Sabha on Friday, Dec 19. They pressurised the govt to cut the fuel prices again keeping in view the global low in crude rates.
The MPs of SP mounted pressure on foreign minister and leader of the House, Pranab Mukherjee. They were also ready with some papers, to respond. But SP MPs with the support of other sections of the House, clamoured the govt to make a statement.
After the adjournment, the House met again. But the pressure to go in for another fuel price cut was mounted on the govt. Congress MPs said the demand for lower fuel prices was reasonable and would provide direct relief to a large section of consumers from urbanites to farmers.
If there is drop in fuel price, it will bring down transport cost and the price of vegetables. It would be economical for farmers to run pump sets also, an MP opined. Asked whether the demand for a fuel cut could gather steam as polls approached, Congress MPs said they did not feel the government should wait much longer.
It can be noted that govt had reduced prices of petrol and diesel by Rs 5 and Rs 2 respectively this month. With crude prices likely to remain low despite OPEC deciding to cut production, the clamour for more price cuts is expected to increase sharply.
The oil companies are glad that they are being able to recover their losses, but the political imperatives are likely to prevail. Oil minister Murli Deora is already being told by MPs that it was time to be a little more 'generous' and that he should reduce the price of LPG by Rs 100 as well. On the fiscal front, former finance minister P Chidambaram, who has been fielding questions on behalf of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, has repeatedly told Parliament that in 2008-09, fiscal deficit will not be treated as sacrosanct.
OneIndia News ( With input from Agencies)