New Delhi, Jan 16(ANI): The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) has defended the Central Government's decision to increase the retail prices of petrol.
State-owned oil companies had hiked petrol prices on Saturday by Rs. 2.50 - Rs. 2.54 per litre, the second hike in a month, due to rising global crude oil prices.
"People were aware about it (increase) because prices have gone up internationally. It (price of petrol) has been linked (with international crude price), after thorough deliberations, because we have been providing subsidy on it," NCP national General Secretary and Rajya Sabha member Tariq Anwar said.
"We want the subsidy to reach the poor. It is not appropriate that rich people, who drive Mercedes, should avail subsidy on petrol at the cost of the poor," he added.
Earlier, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had asked the Central government to reduce taxes on petroleum products to ease the burden of the common man reeling under record inflation.
"You see the international price of petrol. The price of petrol has gone up due to taxes imposed on petrol to benefit the companies. It is only the Government of India, which imposes so many taxes on petrol; no other government in the world imposes so many taxes," said Navjot Singh Sidhu, BJP leader.
"If it (taxes) are reduced, then relatively, everything is attached to petrol, prices will come down," he added.
The country is beset by rising food and fuel prices, and the Central government is facing criticism for failing to introduce structural reforms to control inflation, which has hit the general public adversely. (ANI)