People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 47

November 30, 2008


Reduce Petrol And Diesel Prices Nationwide Protest Day On Dec 2

The CPI(M), CPI, TDP, JD(S), AIFB and RSP have issued the following joint statement on November 24, 2008. The signatories to the statement were Prakash Karat, Communist Party of India (Marxist), H D Deve Gowda, Janata Dal (Secular), N Chandrababu Naidu, Telugu Desam Party, A B Bardhan, Communist Party of India, Debabrata Biswas, All India Forward Bloc and T J Chandrachoodan, Revolutionary Socialist Party.

THE Manmohan Singh government is refusing to reduce the prices of petrol and diesel despite the steady fall in the international oil prices. The international oil prices have fallen below $50 per barrel in the past week. The administered price of petrol and diesel was increased in June 2008 by Rs 5 and Rs 3 per litre of petrol and diesel when the international oil prices had reached a level of $123 per barrel. There is no justification for refusing to make a substantial cut in the prices of petrol and diesel when the government itself has admitted that the administered price of petrol and diesel are based upon an Indian basket calculated at $67 a barrel.

The Manmohan Singh government has been prompt in reducing Aviation Turbine Fuel (ATF) used by the airline companies in five phases in the past four months. The prices of aviation fuel has been brought down from around Rs 71,000 per kilo litre to around Rs 43,000 per kilo litre as of now. The ATF has also been exempted from import duty of 5 per cent.

Neither the prime minister nor the finance minister considered the losses suffered by the oil marketing companies when providing such a largesse to the private airline companies.

The Manmohan government is adopting a callous stand by refusing to cut the prices of petrol and diesel and providing relief to the people who are suffering from all round price rise of essential commodities. Reduction of petroleum prices will have a beneficial effect on the economy and bring down prices of all other commodities.

To demand that the government should immediately bring down the prices of petrol and diesel and provide relief to the people from price rise, we are giving a joint call for observing a Protest Day on December 2, 2008 by holding protest demonstrations and dharnas all over the country.