Chennai: Demanding withdrawal of the latest hike in petrol and diesel prices, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa on Thursday trashed the ‘US Dollar-Indian Rupee exchange rate’ effect as cited by oil marketing companies (OMCs) for the increase and said conditions influencing it had no relation to common people.
Noting that the Centre in “different installments” since 2014 had increased the excise duty on petrol and diesel by Rs 11.77 and Rs 13.57, respectively, she said the benefit of dip in crude prices was not properly passed on to customers.
“Hiking prices by increasing the excise duty at a time when the full benefit of a dip in crude oil prices had not been passed on to people is not fair,” the AIADMK supremo said in a statement.
The CM, who reaffirmed her demand for reviewing the price fixing mechanism for fuel products, said the USD-INR exchange rate was determined by a number of conditions.
“There is no relation between these conditions and the common people. Therefore, the policy of determining (fuel) prices on the basis of rupee’s value has to be changed,” she said.
The latest hike will propel prices of goods and commodities which would result in the rates of essential commodities going up, which, in turn, would affect the lower and middle classes, Jayalalithaa said, adding the latest revision announced by the OMCs should be withdrawn.
Petrol price was yesterday hiked by 5 paise a litre and diesel by Rs 1.26 a litre, the fourth increase in rates in six weeks.
IOC had said, “the current level of international product prices of petrol and diesel and Rupee-US Dollar exchange rate warrant increase in selling price of petrol and diesel, the impact of which is being passed on to the consumers with this price revision.