New Delhi: Defence Minister AK Antony on Tuesday slammed the UPA government for the steepest ever petrol price hike, saying it was not a correct step and that the oil companies should have shown some "propriety" before hiking the prices.
"The hike in petrol price was not a correct step," Antony said, adding, "The oil companies should have shown some propriety."
The UPA government is under intense pressure from even its allies to roll back the whopping Rs 7.50 per litre hike.
The Defence Minister said that the oil companies should have shown some \"propriety\" before going ahead with the hike.
However, the Petroleum Ministry has defended the hike. Petroleum Minister Jaipal Reddy said last week that the government will watch the international situation for a few days before taking a decision on the issue. The minister added that a partial rollback of the prices was not likely soon.
Reddy said, "India is facing the twin crisis of rupee devaluation against US dollar and a substantial increase in the international prices of crude oil. This is a global problem beyond anybody's control. There is no instant solution to the problem."
The minister said that the government was aware of the concerns of consumers and that it could not allow the image of oil marketing companies to be adversely affected.
"This decision was taken by oil marketing companies. We in the ministry cannot cannot take a definitive view as there is high volatility in rupee and crude oil... We have decided to watch for a few days."