Any decision to increase the prices of natural gas will be taken by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA), Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas Veerappa Moily said on Sunday.

He was speaking to journalists after the inauguration of a guesthouse built in memory of Govinda Pai at the poet’s residence here.

Asked whether the proposed increase in prices would be 60 per cent, he said: “I am not going to say anything … It is not me who is taking the decision; there is an expert committee. On the basis of the expert committee [’s recommendations], the CCEA will take a view. I don’t think individual views will count.”

Furthermore, those who criticised steps to increase the prices of petroleum products did not have any suggestion to rein them in, he said. “If anybody has any input to curb the price … I think such people have a talisman …; they will have to come and give us the suggestion …”. Since the petroleum prices were commensurate with the value of the rupee, one had to hope for the rupee to stabilise, he said.

Mr. Moily said he had already answered the charge that he favoured Reliance Industries Limited over the gas price increase.

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