Staff Reporter

GUNTUR: Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy urged people to tighten their belts as ‘a war’ had been unleashed by oil producing countries on developing nations with regard to food and oil security.

He also appealed to political parties not to derive political mileage from the increase in petroleum prices in the larger interests of the country.

Dr. Reddy said “The situation is beyond our control and people must appreciate the minimum amount of price hiked by the UPA. In Andhra Pradesh, the entire burden of Rs.50 per LPG cylinder for 1.05 crore consumers would also be borne by us.”

The Chief Minister evaded a direct reply to a suggestion that the State Government was earning more than Rs.450 crore due to the rise in petrol and diesel prices without cutting VAT, while its outgo on Rs.50 subsidy on each LPG cylinder was just about the same. “We will resort to austerity measuresin the government and administration and appeal to the people to cut wastage,” he said.

Admitting that upper middle class and middle class would be affected by the petrol price hike, he said they must pay a small price for the luxuries they enjoyed. He rejected the suggestion that there would be price hike across the board due to rise in diesel prices. Prices of most essential goods were not linked to diesel price hike, but on the demand and supply position.