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Centre didn't take timely steps due to elections in five states: Pawar on fuel price rise

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Google Oneindia News

Pune, Mar 22: NCP chief Sharad Pawar on Tuesday said the Centre did not take timely steps to check the prices of petrol and diesel due to elections in five states.

Sharad Pawar

He also said that the rates of fuel went up due to the Russia-Ukraine war.

Petrol and diesel prices were on Tuesday hiked by 80 paise a litre each while domestic cooking gas LPG rates were increased by Rs 50 per cylinder as state oil firms ended an over four-and-half month hiatus in rate revision, fanning inflation fears.

Queried about inflation and hike in fuel prices after polls, the former Union minister said the prices of petrol, diesel and oil went up mainly due to two reasons.

"There was a need to take some measures but the government didn't take any steps as there were polls in five states. Secondly, the effect of the Ukraine-Russia war is also there (on fuel prices) and people of India will have to pay the price," he said.

Asked about the growing demand for one-time FRP (Fair and Remunerative Price) payments to sugarcane cultivators, Pawar said there was no objection to giving one-time FRP payments.

"But if the one-time FRP payment has to be given, sugar factories will have to obtain loans from banks and that is not a practical solution. As per my opinion, farmers should get the remuneration on time by sugar mills, not by obtaining loans from banks but by selling the produce (sugar) in the market," the former Union agriculture minister suggested to sugar mills.

Pawar said that in some states, where there is no sugarcane cultivation, ethanol is produced using grains.

"If there is maximum production of ethanol, the import of crude oil will come down, which is a good thing. But while doing this (encouraging ethanol production from grains), the Centre should ensure that there should not be any bad effects on the process of making ethanol from sugarcane," he said.

Pawar said a precaution should be taken to ensure that the sugar business will survive in the process of producing ethanol from grains and ethanol from sugar.

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