Union Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs Vayalar Ravi on Thursday joined the chorus of protests against the hike in the price of non-subsidised cooking gas cylinders. He told reporters that he would convey his views to Petroleum Minister M. Veerappa Moily.

On Wednesday, State-owned petroleum companies announced a Rs. 220 hike in non-subsidised cylinders. This is the third time in a month that the price of non-subsidised cylinders has been hiked. “It is quite natural that people will protest against this decision. Government should think about a solution to address the people’s concern,” Mr. Ravi said.

In a related statement, the Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) said the hike was totally unjustified and would be an intolerable burden on people already battling price rise. More so because now the Government has put a ceiling on subsidised cylinders at nine; forcing a large section of the people to buy them at the market rate.

The Polit Bureau further criticised the insistence of oil companies on extending gas subsidy only to those with Aadhar identification numbers. Stating that this was another way of depriving households from access to gas cylinders, the CPI(M) noted that it also goes against the Supreme Court’s judgment to keep Aadhar use in abeyance till a final verdict.

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