Ruling out rollback of the “small” 45 paisa increase in diesel prices, Oil Minister M Veerappa Moily today said bulk consumers such as railways would have to find their own budget to buy the fuel at market price.
“No, there is no question of a roll back,” Moily, who is here to attend the Congress brainstorming session, told reporters.
Two days back, the government had raised diesel prices after a gap of four months by a marginal 45 paisa a litre for retail users such as car and truck owners, and also raised the rate for bulk users like defence and railways by about Rs 10, to cut subsidy bill.
After including local sales tax — the value added tax —price of diesel for retail users went up by 50 paisa to Rs 47.65 a litre in Delhi. Bulk users, which consumer around 17.77 per cent of the total diesel sales in the country, will pay Rs 56.88 a litre in Delhi.
The government has refused to call its January 17 decision deregulation even though it has permitted oil companies to raise diesel prices by the same quantum from time to time till the over Rs 9 a litre loss on the fuel is wiped out.
Moily said diesel and petrol had been deregulated by the Bharatiya Janata Party-led NDA government in 2002, but the United Progressive Alliance government had continued to subsidise diesel, the nation’s most consumed fuel.
High inflation and slower growth continues to worry Indian consumers
Jaitley, however, cautioned things may go from bad to worse if the country gave a fractured mandate in the ensuing general elections