The reduction of Rs.26,000 crore from fuel subsidies proposed in the Union Budget presented by Finance Minister P. Chidambaram will only lead to further increase in prices of commodities, said Communist Party of India (Marxist) general secretary Prakash Karat here on Friday.
“The Rs.26,000 crore reduction in subsidy on petroleum products will only cause a rise in the prices of the rest of the commodities,” Mr. Karat said at a function, where the eastern leg of the party’s Sangharsh Sandesh Jatha was flagged off.
Mr. Karat said that an increase in the prices of petrol, diesel, liquefied petroleum gas and kerosene will trigger a hike in the prices of commodities. He also pointed out that in the Railway Budget, freight rates for moving diesel and cooking fuels has also been increased.
He was also critical of the Centre for granting “tax concession to corporates” even as it hadn’t proposed any measures that will guarantee employment generation.
Speaking on the occasion, Biman Bose, who is also a member of the Polit Bureau of the CPI(M), expressed his disappointment regarding the fact that the 10-point demand charter made by central trade unions in the two-day strike on February 20 and 21 has found no reflection in the Budget.