Sharing concerns of the common-man, Oil Minister S Jaipal Reddy said the decision to hike petrol price was taken by the oil companies, but the government is conscious of the "sense of disturbance" caused by it among the consumers.
"The government cannot remain indifferent to the people's feelings," he told reporters here amid an uproar over the steepest ever hike of Rs 7.50 a litre in petrol price announced on May 23.
Besides the Opposition parties, the allies of the ruling UPA have also opposed the steep hike. He said while the decision to increase the price was "harsh and unpleasant", the huge hike was warranted according to the oil marketing companies.
"We will watch the situation for a few days", before taking a definite view on any rollback, he said. He said the OMCs have to deal with the double trend of increase in the crude oil prices and that the current falling trend was not stable.
Asked about the meeting of Empowered Group of Ministers on diesel price, he said he was urging for a meeting to decide on "diesel, LPG and kerosene prices".