New Delhi, Sep 13: In wake of the rising petrol and diesel prices and falling value of the rupee against US dollar, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to hold a meeting on September 15 to take stock of the country’s economic situation and deliberate if any measures are required to control rising fuel prices and currency fall.
Along with PM Narendra Modi, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, NITI Aayog Vice-Chairman Rajiv Kumar, PMEAC Chairman Bibek Debroy and Finance Secretary Hasmukh Adhia will attend the review meeting, reported news agency PTI. The exact agenda of the scheduled meeting, however, is not known. Among other issues, government finances, implementation of flagship financial inclusion and other development schemes are likely to be discussed. Petrol Price Reaches Rs 81 Per Litre in Delhi as Fuel Rates Continue to Soar.
The meeting comes in the backdrop of the Indian currency touching its lifetime low of 72.91 to a dollar, depreciating 12.3 per cent since the beginning of 2018, and the rising prices of petrol and diesel that has added to common man’s woes. On Thursday, petrol price reached Rs 81 per litre in the national capital. In Mumbai, petrol is being sold at Rs 88.39 per litre after an increase of Rs 0.13 in prices across the country.
Fuel prices in the country have been rising almost daily since August 1. They fell only once on August 13 in the last 41 days. Prices have gone up on 30 days and remained unchanged on 11 days, and have been breaching record levels for more than a week now. The government has so far maintained that it would not take any knee-jerk action as a response to the fall in rupee or spike in fuel prices.
The Centre has ruled out a cut in excise duty, saying that it would mean that a commensurate reduction in developmental expenditure has to be undertaken to keep the fiscal deficit at the budgeted level, it is up to the states to reduce VAT on petrol and diesel. The government can ill-afford this in an election year.
Opposition parties led by Congress have made spiralling fuel prices and plummeting rupee a political issue and questioned the efficacy of the government’s economic policies. (With agency inputs)