“All the major oil companies have registered huge profits”

Bharatiya Janata Party national spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad on Sunday said petroleum products in neighbouring countries were far cheaper and accused the Congress of “pandering to the interests of middlemen and brokers.”

“A glance at the petrol prices in our neighbouring countries reveals all. Per litre price of petrol in Pakistan is Rs. 26, in Bangladesh it is Rs.22, while in Nepal it hovers at a reasonable Rs. 34. Even in strife-ridden Afghanistan, its price is not more than Rs. 33 per litre. The UPA government should stop burdening the common man with petrol prices as high as Rs. 53 a litre,” he said.

Addressing journalists on the eve of the Bharat bandh called by the NDA in protest against the rising prices of petroleum and essential commodities, Mr. Prasad said the Central government had no reason to hike the petroleum prices on the pretext that oil companies were not doing well financially.

“Indian Oil has netted profits to the tune of Rs. 4,663 crore for the 2009-10 fiscal, while Bharat Petroleum and Hindustan Petroleum have made robust profits of Rs. 834 crore and Rs. 544 crore respectively. In fact, all the major oil companies were running in profit,” he said.

The country had seen the worst inflationary trends under the prime ministership of Manmohan Singh, he said.

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