NEW DELHI: Minutes after the Congress demanded relief from the steep hike in petrol price, state-run oil marketers on Thursday indicated they could reduce the price by the month-end if the rupee and international oil prices held steady.
"Current trend indicates that prices can come down," IndianOil chairman R S Butola said. He was speaking just after Congress publicly asked for a reduction in the hike.
"We are genuinely sensitive to the burden this hike will put on the aam aadmi. We hope within the parameters of the international economic situation, the government will evolve a modus vivendi which will provide some relief," party spokesperson Manish Tewari said. Oil minister Jaipal Reddy's hasty return from Turkmenistan is seen as signaling Congress's anxiety to secure some respite from the steep hike .
NEW DELHI, MAY 25:
Under mounting political pressure, the Government today hinted that a review of the petrol price hike may happen in the next few days.
A similar view was expressed by the public sector oil marketing companies (OMCs) on Thursday. The companies had said that they will review the price at the end of the fortnight (June 1), passing on the benefits of the softening international crude oil and product prices to consumers.
While defending the steep price hike of May 23 by the OMCs, the Petroleum Minister, Mr S. Jaipal Reddy, admitted that the decision to hike the price was harsh and unpleasant.
He said, “We in the Ministry cannot remain indifferent…But we are at this point not able to take a definitive view because there is lot of volatility in the value of rupee and price of crude oil. So we have decided to watch for just few days.”
The Government is not only facing flak from the Opposition but from allies as well, with the Trinamool Congress, DMK and outside supporter Samajwadi Party all announcing agitation plans.