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Govt. not to roll back fuel prices, Opp firm on shutdown call

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Kolkata: Even as Opposition NDA is gearing up for the all-India bandh on Monday to protest the price hike and rising inflation, the government ruled out rolling back increase in fuel prices.

"No question of roll-back," Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee told reporters on the sidelines of an Assocham function here, when asked whether the government could review its June 25 decision of raising prices of petroleum products.


On June 25, a ministerial panel, headed by Mukherjee, had lifted the pricing controls on petroleum. As a result, petrol went up by Rs.3.50 a litre. The government hiked the prices of diesel by Rs.2 a litre, kerosene -- known as the poor man's fuel and traditionally spared during periodic fuel price hikes -- by Rs.3 a litre and cooking gas by Rs.35 per cylinder.

On Friday, the RBI hiked key interest rates by 25 basis points with immediate effect in an attempt to contain soaring inflation. The repo rate, the rate at which banks borrow from the RBI, was increased by 25 basis points to 5.5 percent and the reverse repo rate by a similar quantum to 4 percent.


Referring to this, he said it was an "appropriate and welcome measure".

"So far as the interest rates are concerned, 25 basis points enhancement in the repo and reverse repo rate is appropriate and a welcome measure.

"And I do hope it will be subsumed in the new policy statement which will be made by the RBI in the later part of this month on July 27," the finance minister said on the sidelines of an Assocham seminar.

Meanwhile, NDA Working Chairperson L K Advani after a meeting of its leaders, said, "This may be the first time in the history of India's politics that almost all political parties will participate in the Bharat Bandh."






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