“Couldn’t talk to Obama due to time constraint”
ON BOARD THE PM’S AIRCRAFT: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has ruled out a cut in petrol and diesel prices until oil companies are able to sustain their operations. “Even now the Indian oil companies have to bear a very heavy burden,” he said.
There were limits to government subsidies. “We have been subsidising LPG, kerosene and diesel to a certain extent. If the prices keep going down, we will explore the possibility,” he said to a question, on his way back home from Qatar late on Monday night.
Asked whether the government was not helping the rich by bailing out airline companies, Dr. Singh said: “There is the employment angle to be looked at. If airlines close down, there will be considerable unemployment.”
Dr. Singh also dispelled the impression that India was not among the countries with which Barack Obama established contact soon after winning the U.S. presidential election early this month.
“This is not true. Mr. Obama wanted to talk to me day before yesterday [Saturday]. We could not establish contact because the time that was suggested was too short for me to interact and since then I have been travelling for the last two days. As soon as I go back [we will try to establish contact]. I had a very warm letter from him even before he was elected and I myself have written a warm letter to him and got a detailed letter spelling out his approach on India and international affairs.” He condoled the death of Mr. Obama’s grandmother and that letter was “immediately acknowledged.”More on the US Presidential Election