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November 15, 2011

Maa-Mati-Manush Govt. make `historic victory`; UPA roll back on Petroleum prices

Maa-Mati-Manush Govt. make `historic victory`; UPA roll back on Petroleum prices

AITMC Web News, Kolkata, November 15: The Maa-Mati-Manush Government under the leadership of Paschimbanga Chief Minister Ms. Mamata Banerjee had a `historic victory` with the news of petroleum products roll back by nearly rupees two per litre. It was Ms. Banerjee who had raised objection over the manner in which the UPA government was hiking the prices. `The Trinamool Congress would not remain in the coalition if it effected another hike in prices of petroleum products`, said an aggrieved Chief Minister who asked if hiking of price was important owing to escalation of prices of crude oil in the international market then why there is no roll back in prices in domestic market when it does takes place in the international market.

The issue came into surface when the Trinamool Congress (the second largest ally of the UPA Government) learnt about the proposed increase in the petroleum. Ms. Banerjee had expressed her dissatisfaction in the past over the manner in which UPA Government treats by showing apathy to consult or discuss policy matters with the Trinamool Congress. Ms. Banerjee called a meeting of the Trinamool Parliamentary Committee members at the Trinamool Bhawan the next day and asked her party members to take a decision. The members unanimously decided to walk out of the UPA Government and conveyed the same to their Chairperson who decided to wait for the Prime Minister to return instead as she felt such issues should be discussed face to face and in calm. The Parliamentary Committee members on a designated day met the Prime Minister at 7 Race Course Road in New Delhi and simultaneously Ms. Banerjee was meeting Union Finance Minister at Raj Bhawan in Kolkata. None though, were in a mood to divulge details of the meeting excepting that the Trinamool Congress will not hesitate to walk out of the UPA government if they tend to increase the prices. `The Trinamool Congress will not remain in the UPA government if the Centre resorts to another increase in prices of diesel, kerosene and LPG`, was the comments of Ms. Banerjee after the meeting. 

However, there was a speculation since Monday over the petroleum prices as many predicted os a possible roll back. The news was confirmed by sources on Tuesday evening. According to Mr. RS Butola, Chairman of India's biggest fuel retailer having about 50% market-share said that the Indian Oil has decided to reduce petrol prices by Rs 1.85 per litre, exclusive of state duties. Similar reaction were received from executives working with IOC, Hindustan Petroleum and Bharat Petroleum giving a nod to what Ms. Banerjee had pointed out and said that price reduction was a must to retain pricing freedom. However, they maintained that average crude oil price has jumped to $110.38 a barrel from $108.59, when prices were raised. Similarly, the rupee has also depreciated by about 18 paise since then. The government had freed petrol pricing in June last year, but companies only raised its prices 13 times despite fluctuations in global crude oil prices.

The roll back in price of Petroleum products was received with a sigh of relief by people across the country who is the worse affected if such things takes place. `the roll in price is indeed a welcome move and I would congratulate the Chief Minister for thinking of the common people like us as another hike would spoil the equation of the household`, said Sucharita Mitra, professional in New Alipore. Another commuter Rathin Sen said, `the Chief Minister not only deserves a thanks but every state in India should emulate her`.

The roll back prices will come into effect from Tuesday midnight.