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NAC member defends fuel price hike, experts differ


First published: November 6, 2011, 3:11 PM IST | Updated: November 6, 2011
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NAC member defends fuel price hike, experts differ
The National Advisory Council member says the fuel price hike will not have any major impact on inflation.

New Delhi: National Advisory Council (NAC) Member NC Saxena has defended the petrol price hike by saying it will not have any major impact on inflation.

However, some experts are of the opinion that it was unwarranted.

"The impact of hike in petrol prices on inflation will be marginal. Our transport system entirely depends on diesel. Petrol is consumed by 5 per cent of India's population. They are the people who are influential, they are vocal but their number is very small," N C Saxena of the Sonia Gandhi-led NAC told PTI.

"I am in support of the price hike," the former Planning Commission member said commenting on the Rs 1.80 a litre hike in petrol prices by oil marketing firms, citing the impact of rupee depreciation on the cost of crude oil imports.

Following the increase, petrol in Delhi costs Rs 68.64 a litre.

Noted Economist and Former Union Minister Y K Alagh too supported the price hike saying, "Needs of really needy people can be taken care of in imaginative ways."

Echoing views, FICCI Secretary General Rajeev Kumar said, "The rise will have somewhat limited (impact on inflation) because cascading effect of petrol is not very high unlike diesel."

Petrol price, he added, should follow market trend otherwise it would have huge impact on fiscal deficit.

On deregulation of diesel prices, Kumar said, "I think diesel prices should be deregulated," but it should be done after inflation comes down.

Replying to questions on deregulation of diesel prices, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had said, "I have no hesitation in saying ultimately we must allow the markets to find their own level except for those commodities which are semi public goods."

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