BJP slams govt over deregulation of diesel prices

New Delhi: Primary Opposition Bhartiya Janata Party on Tuesday attacked the government for its in-principle decision to decontrol diesel prices even as Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said the move was decided in June last year but refused to specify whether it is being implemented.

"They (government) are saying that they are doing it in-principle and they will modulate it to the needs of the people. But this means that they are going to increase diesel prices and the diesel shock is coming in few days from now," BJP spokesman Prakash Javadekar told reporters.

"What Kaushik Basu (PM`s Economic Adviser) was saying and has indicated is now confirmed by government in its written reply also….And we oppose such a move because diesel is a basic fuel for all types of transport and that will have a cascading effect on price rise," he said outside Parliament House.

When asked about the move, Mukherjee said the decision was taken in June last year. "That decision was taken in June, 2011," he told reporters outside Parliament House.

The Minister, however, did not respond when asked whether the government would stick to its decision.

In a written reply in the Rajya Sabha (upper house of Parliament), Minister of State for Finance Namo Narain Meena said, "Government has, in principle, agreed to make the prices of diesel market determined. In order to insulate the common man from the impact of rise in international oil prices and the domestic inflationary conditions, the government continues to modulate the retail selling price of diesel."