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Congress pressure on Kumaraswamy to roll back fuel price hike

Press Trust of India  |  Bengaluru 

Chief and JD(S) H D has come under mounting pressure from the ruling coalition partner to roll back the hike in petrol and diesel prices announced in the budget last week.

A day ahead of Kumaraswamy's reply to the debate on the budget in the Assembly tomorrow, senior said he had written to the chief to withdraw the hikes as it would affect the common man.

pointed out that the was protesting against the BJP government at the Centre over the fuel price hike and had made it a major issue.

"At this juncture, your decision to hike petrol and diesel prices may affect the common man," Siddaramaiah, who is the Congress-JD(S) coordination committee chief said in the letter released to the media.

In the coalition government's maiden budget last week, Kumaraswamy, who holds the portfolio,had proposed hike in the price on petrol and diesel by Rs 1.14 and Rs 1.12 per litre respectively as part of resource mobilisation efforts following the farm loan waiver, which is expected to cost the exchequer Rs 34,000 crore.

He had also announced a reduction in the rice quota issued to BPL families by two kg and decided to supply only five kgs per month to an individual under the "Anna Bhagya", a flagship scheme of the previous government.

In his letter, Siddaramaiah also sought reconsideration of the decision to reduce the supply or rice.

Expressing "surprise" over this decision, Siddaramaiah said the subsidy amount that his government had earmarked was Rs 2,450 crore and by reducing rice supply by two kg, Rs 600-700 crore can be saved.

But reduction in the quantity may increase the burden on the poor, he said, adding that he came to know from party leaders and activists across that people have opposed this move.

In his budget speech, had defended the fuel price hike, saying the government needed to augment resources for the welfare needs and that it was a modest increase.

Food and Civil Supplies B Z Zameer too has written to Kumaraswamy, asking him to restore supply of 7 kg of rice under the Anna Bhagya scheme.

According to sources, the issue was reportedly a major point of discussion in the meeting today.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, July 11 2018. 20:45 IST