People's Democracy

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


No. 52

December 26, 2010

CITU Denounces Petrol Price Hike

Pricing Anarchy In The Name Of Deregulation

The following is the statement issued by the Centre of Indian Trade Unions on December 15, 2010

THE CITU strongly denounces the hike in price of petrol by Rs 2.96 paise per litre. This is the sixth such hike in a span of six months. By deregulating the petrol price, the oil companies have been given a free hand to increase the prices, on the plea of higher international crude price. When the UPA-II government  came to power in May 2009, international crude price was 70 dollar/barrel and today the international crude oil price is 90 dollar/barrel, an increase of 20 dollar/barrel which is equivalent to roughly Rs 5.66/litre. But the petrol price in Delhi has gone up by Rs 15.24 per litre from Rs 40.62/litre in May 2009 to Rs 55.87/litre today during this period and government is shirking its accountability for such a predatory non-transparent pricing tactics in the name of under-recovery of Oil PSUs because of high international crude oil prices. The CITU also expresses its grave concern over the government’s proposed move to similarly increase the price of diesel next week. “Aam Admi” already hit by the continuous food inflation will be now subjected to further cascading impact of hike in price of petroleum products.

The CITU further demands that government should reduce and rationalise its disproportionate and irrational taxation. For example central excise duty on petrol is Rs  14.35 per litre whereas for Aviation Turbine Fuel (ATF), used in Aircrafts, the same is Rs 2.75 per litre. This is lower even than Rs 4.60/litre on diesel, a product of mass consumption.

The CITU also deplores the government’s deceptive tactics of burdening the common man with so called “market determined” price for petroleum products whereas it sold spectrum worth millions of rupees in 2008 at 2001 price level. It is preposterous for the present corporate captive government to talk about recovering the “notional” amount of under-recovery from “ aam admi” while remaining silent on recovery of Rs 1.76 lakh crore loss to the exchequer from those involved in the spectrum scam.

The CITU calls upon the working class to expose the deceit and deception of the government. It demands withdrawal of price hike in petrol and end of the present pricing anarchy in the name of deregulation of petroleum pricing.