Industry on Wednesday welcomed the government decision to hike fuel prices and cut duties, stating that the measures will provide some cushion to oil marketing companies that are suffering huge losses.
Apex business chambers said the runaway rise in international crude oil price, which had crossed $135 a barrel recently and is ruling at $124 per barrel now, has made it incumbent on all stakeholders to share the burden.
"Time has come when all the stakeholders should bear the brunt of increase in oil prices,'' newly-appointed Assocham President Sajjan Jindal said in a statement. He appealed to the political parties to support the decision on price revision.
"The sharing of the burden of rising oil prices by different stakeholders will ensure that the direct impact on the retail consumers is contained,'' the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry said in a separate release. It said that ther e was a further scope for providing cushion to the oil marketing companies by restructuring sales tax regime on petroleum products at the state level.
"Ficci has been advocating the need for targeting subsidies to the needy by way of direct cash transfers rather than providing subsidised fuel,'' it said. The government has hiked petrol and diesel prices by Rs 5 and Rs 3 a litre, respectively, and that of LPG by Rs 50 a cylinder, while effecting no changes in the kerosene price.
Besides, duties have been cut and the Centre would take financial hit of Rs 22,660 crore to save the government-owned oil marketing companies from a colossal burden of under-recoveries. - PTI