Staff Reporter

No matching rise in international crude prices: CPI(M)

Fuel price hike will reflect on the prices of essential commodities

Load-shedding exceeding more than the announced duration

KARUR: Communist Party of India (Marxist) district committee has decried the hike in fuel prices following the Union budget proposals submitted recently. The party has also deplored the frequent power cuts in the district and has called upon the governments to take people-oriented actions on these issues.

A meeting of the district committee held here pointed out that the hike effected in the cost of fuel would have a cascading effect on the prices of essentials that were already rising and were simply going out of the reach of the common man. It was condemnable that after analysing the prices of essentials, the Minister has proposed to hike the excise duty on crude oil and petroleum products in the range of five to 10 per cent, a resolution passed by the committee noted.

Any hike in fuel cost would reflect on the price of all transportable commodities. The problem was all the more deplorable since the rise has been effected when there was no matching rise in international crude prices. It was unacceptable that the price rise has been imposed on the people in an unwarranted manner, the resolution pointed out.

The Kirit Parikh Committee report on fixing the price band of petroleum products has been hanging over the head of the people like the Damocles' sword. While action was pending on the report, the current excise hike in price of petroleum products was unnecessary and condemnable, the party opined and called upon the Union Government to withdraw it forthwith.

Through another resolution, the CPI (M) observed that the power situation was grim and the Tamil Nadu Electricity Board was resorting to load-shedding for more than the announced two-hour schedule. Unannounced power cuts have become frequent, leading to precarious situations, especially for the industries, agriculture and domestic consumers.

Farmers in those areas dependant on deep well irrigation were being put to untold misery due to frequent power cuts and they have been complaining that they could not have access to proper load shedding timings. With the onset of summer, the problem was bound to increase and the CPI (M) has urged the State Government and the TNEB to ensure that the officials intervene in places where necessity arose and ensure proper and adequate power supply.

The party also condemned the “`increasing number of crimes'' in Karur district and has called upon the senior police officials to take effective steps to stem the rot.