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CPI(M) to campaign against petrol price hike

NEW DELHI, AUG. 1. The Communist Party of India (Marxist) will launch a campaign against the hike in the prices of petrol and diesel and the proposal of the United Progressive Alliance to raise the foreign direct investment cap in strategic sectors such as insurance, telecom and others.

The decision of the CPI(M) came at the end of the three-day Central Committee meeting here today. While stating this, the party Polit Bureau member, Prakash Karat, said the details would be formally announced tomorrow. "We will chalk out a programme to oppose the price hike in petrol and diesel.''

The Left parties had recently called on the Petroleum Minister, Mani Shankar Aiyar, on the issue of price hike. They have been demanding that the Government effect changes in the duty structure and lower both the excise and the customs duty as a measure to provide relief to the people.

This was the second time that the Left parties have taken up the issue, the first being when the UPA Government hiked the prices of petrol, diesel and cooking gas. The second meeting came following the decision of the Government allowing the oil companies to fix auto fuel prices against global crude oil fluctuations on a narrow price band.

They argued that the prices of petroleum products in the country were high because of the high import and excise duties and if restructuring was done, then the much talked about high levels of subsidies for certain petroleum products could also be scaled down.

RSP's protest

The Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP) too protested the latest revision of prices of petrol.

In a statement, the party central committee member, Abani Roy, said the Government should consider bringing down the excise and the custom duties instead of burdening the people.

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