New Delhi: The government had no alternative but to decontrol the diesel prices as the country can "ill-afford" the economic crisis several European nations are going through, Congress leader Digvijay Singh said on Saturday. "In the wake of burgeoning oil subsidy, the government was forced to go in for the measure as the country could ill-afford an economic crisis, which was witnessed by the US and several European countries," the Congress general secretary said.
His comments came hours after Petroleum Minister Veerappa Moily said there is no question of roll-back of the decision. Singh, who led the sub-group on emerging socio-economic challenges, however, made a strong pitch for dual pricing policy for diesel, which will ensure that farmers get it at subsidised rates.
Turning to food subsidy, Singh said that efforts are needed to streamline the public distribution, which is plagued by severe leakages. The subgroup on economic and social challenges saw members making a strong demand for ensuring creation of skilled jobs for youths.
Congress President Sonia Gandhi has already underlined this huge challenge faced by India to provide jobs to one crore youths every year. Singh also recalled that Gandhi's address focusing on the middle class also showed the priorities of the party. He also said that direct cash transfer will help to a large extent but it has its own difficulties.