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Burden on common man would be eased: Cong

Last updated on: May 25, 2012 08:43 IST

Burden on common man would be eased: Cong

With protests growing louder over the steep hike in petrol price, Congress on Thursday indicated the possibility of a partial rollback but insisted that tough measures are unavoidable in the present economic situation.

"The party is hopeful that some kind of a modus vivendi involving the central government, state government and the oil companies will be arrived at.... We are hopeful that the government would find a way out so that some of this burden is eased," party spokesperson Manish Tewari told reporters.

He at the same time pointed out that prices of crude oil are rising in international market and that India has to import 80 per cent of its crude oil consumption.

Tewari, however, refused to answer specific questions on whether the party would like a roll back.

"I have said whatever I had to say...I have explained to you the volatile economic situations and the pressure on oil companies. I have also put on record our sympathy for the impact on the common man...," he said.

Acknowledging that "this (the hike) definitely puts burden on common man", Tewari said he was hopeful that the government would come out with some ways to ease the burden of people while keeping in mind "complex international situation" arising out of rise in international crude oil prices and devaluation of rupees.

He said that the party, however, notwithstanding the facts and economic realities "is extremely sensitive to the burden put on the common man".

The party's reaction came on a day when NDA and Left have announced agitation plans including a Bharat Bandh on May 31, while Railway Minister Mukul Roy from Trinamool Congress led a party march in Kolkata against the hike with party chief Mamata Banerjee saying that the protests would continue.

Apart from Banerjee's party, UPA ally DMK also opposed the move and demanded withdrawal of the hike.

"This is not the decision of the government. This is not a political decision. This falls in the jurisdiction of oil companies," Tewari said.

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