In pursuance of the call given by the Central Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS), the Andhra Pradesh State unit of BMS will organise ‘protest demonstrations' across the State on Wednesday in connection with steep hike in petrol price.

The BMS feels that the biggest-ever increase in petrol prices will affect the common man and indirectly there is every chance of hike of all other essential commodities, according to its State legal cell incharge K. Bhavani Shankarudu.

“It is not correct to say that the oil marketing companies run by the Government are in deep crisis because of global price hike in crude oil and suffering loss.

On the contrary, the Indian Oil Corporation and Oil India Ltd., earned net profit of Rs.10,321 crores and Rs.2,611 crores respectively during the year 2009-10 and paid handsome amounts as dividend to the Central Government. Still, there has been more than seven times price hike in fuel in the past about nine months,” he pointed out.

  The price hike, therefore, was quite unjustifiable, he stated, adding that the price rise in LPG and other gas products was also in the offing whereas ONGC and GAIL had earned huge profits in 2009-10.

  “It is very unfortunate to justify the latest hike in petrol price by the Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee who is also the Chairman of Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM).

The version of the Minister that EGoM has no role to play in the oil price increase and that any increase or reduction in the oil price is being taken by Oil Marketing Companies is travesty of truth and the hike was timed only after election results were declared,” Mr. Bhavani Shankarudu observed.

The impending hike of diesel, kerosene and gas in a week , awaiting decision by Empowered Group of Ministers was all the more painful and burdening the already burdened AAM ADMI.