In spite of assurances by Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Jaipal Reddy on Friday, Sept 7 that fuel prices won't be increased immediately, sources say government has no other option but go for an across-the-board hike. Thus prices of petrol, diesel, LPG cylinder and kerosene will be increased.
Sources further added that hike is likely to come into effect from next week. Reddy himself had hinted the forthcoming fuel price hike. He said that difficult and painful decisions need to be taken.
The announcement of fuel price hike is surely going to cause major disappointment among the common people. The price of petroleum products will have an immediate effect on household and daily used materials, mostly vegetables and other food items.
Middle and lower middle classes would be most effected by the hike, say experts.
Expressing disappointment, Supriya M, a home-maker in Bangalore said that Congress-led UPA government had failed to control price hike.
"Increase in fuel prices automatically increases the price of other items, mostly household stuff. Moreover, prices of LPG will also be increased. As a home-maker it is becoming very difficult for me to maintain my house with a limited budget," added Supriya.
In the IT-hub, techie Sushil Kumar could not restrict his anger when he learnt that prices would be increased again. Currently, in Bangalore a litre of petrol costs Rs 75.91.
"Government has failed the people of this country. Prices of all products are increasing at an exponential rate. As a middle-class man, life has become very hard for me. I doubt the situation would improve soon," Kumar lamented.
It is not just the common men who are disappointed with government's regular price hike policies, in the name of rescuing the economy from further collapse. Opposition parties are also likely to oppose the latest fuel price hike move by the government.
Sources at the government indicate that Prime Minister's Office (PMO) and the Finance Ministry want hike in fuel prices. It is believed that increasing the prices would help prevent bankruptcy of the oil marketing companies (OMCs) and their downgrading by international rating agencies.
Petroleum Ministry is also said to have moved a Cabinet note on the issue and the issue would be discussed at a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs (CCPA) soon.