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CPI(M) dispels myth of under-recoveries, losses

Written by: Staff
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New Delhi, May 12: Continuing its opposition to the government's move to hike the price of petroleum products, the CPI(M) today sought to dispel the myth of under-recovery and losses and claimed that the government could manage without raising fuel prices.

''It is true that the international price of crude oil reaching 75 dollars per barrel, our country is under intense pressure. But the oil companies' under-recovery of Rs 73,000 crore cannot be termed as loss,'' CPI(M) Polit Bureau member Sitaram Yechury said.

At a press conference, Mr Yechury, along with Party Parliamentary Group leader Basudeb Acharia and deputy leader Mohammad Salim, claimed that the reality was that in the present times the Central government had earned Rs 78,000 crore from the oil sector.

The CPI(M) leaders were asked about the discussions held with Petroleum Minister Murli Deora.

They claimed that the centre it is possible for the Centre to manage the situation arising from the increase in prices of crude oil in the international market and called for restrucuring of taxes by both the Union and the state governments.

The Left leaders also demanded comprehensive discussion on the role of the Election Commission on the floor of the House in the backdrop of what they termed as its ''biased'' role in the conduct of elections in West Bengal and Kerala.

Answering queries on the issue, Mr Yechury said, ''What we seek is discussion in both the Houses but we are not asking any change in the structure of the EC.'' He said they were demanding a uniform law ''which would go a long way in strengthening our democratic structure.'' To a query whether Parliament would discuss the role of a constitutional body like that of the EC, Mr Salim said ''Parliament can discuss anything.'' The Left leaders, while calling for ''more teeth'' for the EC, however, emphasised that every Chief Election Commissioner wanted to demonstrate one upmanship, which should not be done.

They regretted that because of the schedule set by the EC for assembly polls, the General Budget had to be passed without any discussion.

They urged mediapersons to focus on the issue as ''this has very serious implications on the health of our democratic set up.'' Mr Acharia said the Left had decided to raise at least seven issues dung the short session which included the agrarian crisis leading to farmers' suicide, import of wheat which contained pesticides beyond the prescribed limit, price rise of essentials, communal violence in Vadodara and privatisation of airports and PSUs like that of the BALCO.

UNI

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