Members slam high oil prices during Lok Sabha debate on Finance Bill – Times of India


NEW DELHI: Opposition members on Friday made a strong demand in Lok Sabha to rein in rising fuel prices and accused the government of putting the people to difficult times soon after the elections were over. Initiating the discussion on the Finance Bill in the Lok Sabha, Congress member Gaurav Gogoi said the government had kept the prices of petrol, diesel and cooking gas stable for a month and increased them thrice after the elections.
“Fuel prices have increased for the third time and jingoism is the only antidote this government is offering to the poor. Whether there is record unemployment, high inequality, or inflation, people are expected to put all their faith in the supreme leader,” he said.
Trinamool member Satabdi Roy said the poor of the country were not bothered about the Finance Bill but were keen to know when the prices of petrol, diesel and cooking gas would reduce.
NCP leader Supriya Sule said the BJP rode to power on the slogan against inflation and it was time to remind the ruling party of its campaign against corruption.
“Even my mother used to tell me back then that prices of essential commodities were too high and it may affect the then government adversely. After many years, she is telling me again that inflation is rising,” Sule said.
BJP member Nishikant Dubey hit out at the previous UPA government for issuing oil bonds to soften the impact of the high international crude prices.
“These oil bonds carried an interest rate ranging from 6.35 per cent to 8.4 per cent. The government had to pay Rs 40,000 crore as interest on these oil bonds,” Dubey said, adding that all big businessmen with a networth of Rs 5,000 crore and more benefited from this.
He claimed that rising oil prices were due to the Ukraine conflict and wondered whether the government should resort to similar tactics of issuing oil bonds.
“Our prime minister wants to tell the people that there is a crisis at hand and oil prices are bound to increase. The situation is such that there will be inflation, there will be an increase in prices of petrol and LPG. There is a difference between votebank politics and politics of the nation,” Dubey said.
He said the government was working toward reducing dependence on oil imports by encouraging ethanol blending to the tune of 20 per cent and electric mobility.
Dubey also said the notion that centre’s policies were responsible for high prices of petroleum products should be done away with as several opposition ruled states levied high VAT on fuel.
TDP member Jaydev Galla sought a clarification from the finance minister on the Russian offer to supply India with crude and also explore the possibility of exporting Indian wheat, mustard and cotton.
He also wanted the government to amend the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act to insert a clause declaring Amravathi as the only capital of the state.
He urged the finance minister to approve the revised cost of the Polavaram irrigation project.
DMK member K Sundaram said the finance minister had conveniently ignored the aspirations and problems faced by the taxpayer.
“How do you expect the people to spend when they have no income,” he said.


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