New Delhi: The Finance Ministry is considering raising the excise duty on diesel cars. The suggestion was mooted long back by the Oil Ministry. This came after the inter ministerial group on inflation and diesel pricing options met on Monday.
However, Oil Minister Jaipal Reddy has categorically said that the government was not considering a hike in diesel, LPG and kerosene prices right now. Government sources said that the Empowered Group of Minister (EGoM) on LPG and fuel prices will be held on June 1.
The UPA government has been facing flak for the Rs 7.5 per litre hike in petrol prices.
Last week after the hike in petrol prices, the Congress had conveyed to the government that a hike in diesel prices was not advisable at the moment, according to sources. Congress also said that even though a hike in petrol prices was required, the timing was wrong.
"Petrol price hike should not have taken place a day after the UPA-II report card was presented and Parliament session ended," Congress sources said.
While the NDA called for a nationwide bandh on May 31, the Left parties also planned to hold a protest demonstration in Delhi. CPI leader D Raja said, "All parties should plunge to protest. It's just a prelude. They will hike the price of diesel as well."
Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee marched on the streets of West Bengal protesting against the petrol price hike. She said, "We have made a commitment to support this government, that is the reason we are not moving out. But our support does not mean that we cannot protest. We believe that the government is being unjust, it's one sided and not correct."
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa had also demanded an immediate rollback of the hike.