The hike in the price of petrol and other petroleum products has no justification at all and the Union Government should immediately intervene in the matter and withdraw the price hike at the earliest, said former MLA, Joseph M. Puthusserry.

In an open letter to the Union Minister for Petroleum, S.Jaipal Reddy on Friday, Mr. Puthusserry said it was high time the Union Government took effective measures to check fleecing of the people at the hands of the oil marketing companies.

According to him, the petrol price in India is the highest in the whole world. While in India it costs Rs. 70 a litre, it costs only Rs. 47.50 in the United States, Rs. 43.29 in Russia and Rs. 26.78 in Malaysia.

The petrol price in India was only Rs. 50.50 a litre when the crude oil price was $ 147 a barrel in the international market. Ironically, neither the oil companies nor the Government have initiated any step for consequent reduction of petroleum prices when the oil price have dropped down to $ 87 a barrel, once again highlighting the fact that the Import Parity Pricing was not at all systematic or scientific, he alleged.

Mr. Puthusserry said the Union Government should restore the Administered Pricing Mechanism and regulate the oil prices effectively, ensuring proper checks and balances and thereby avoiding any further burden on the common man. Government should roll back the price increase of petrol and petroleum products by extending subsidy, if needed.

The Union Government may also issue appropriate guidelines to the State Governments to rationalise the taxation of petroleum products in the wake of the existing disparity, he adds.

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