Restructure petrol prices to avoid frequent hike: Ram Naik

Nagpur: The government should restructure prices of petrol to avoid increase in prices now and then, senior BJP leader and former Union Minister of Petroleum Ram Naik has said.

"The burden of petrol price hike petrol can be reduced by suitably adjusting import duty and excise duty instead of reducing them," Naik, who is here to organise `Bharat Bandh` call given by NDA, told reporters here yesterday.

He said Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee seemed only interested in augmenting government revenue. The government can adopt a revenue-neutral policy and pass on additional revenue to customers, thereby helping reduce petrol prices.

Criticising the UPA policies, Naik said unfortunately the Manmohan Singh government had no clear cut policy on petroleum. Claiming petrol prices in neighbouring countries like Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Bangladesh were quite less, he said even in the US, petrol was cheaper by Rs 24 as compared to India.

Advocating five percent blending of ethanol with petrol, Naik said had the government seriously followed a decision taken by the then government in 2003 on blending, they would have been spared of raising prices. Naik is here to oversee preparations for Bharat Bandh call given for May 31.