Biting the bullet, the Govt today (Sep 13) hiked diesel prices by a steep Rs 5.62 per litre and restricted the supply of subsidised cooking gas to 6 cylinders per household in a year to fetch an additional Rs 20,300 crore. It, however, left kerosene rates untouched and spared an increase in petrol price by cutting excise duty by Rs 5.30 per litre. Reeling under the criticism of a policy paralysis and facing an urgent need to cut down the ballooning oil subsidy of Rs 187,127 crore, the Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs chaired by PM Manmohan Singh took the decisions which have come under strong attack from allies like TMC and SP. TMC and DMK ministers kept away from the meeting. Key UPA ally & TMC chief Mamata Banerjee said that she was unhappy and astonished at the diesel price hike and the decision on LPG and demanded immediate rollback.
In a debate moderated by TIMES NOW's Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami, panelists -- Dr. Bejon Misra, Consumer Expert; Meenakshi Lekhi, Sr Advocate, SC; Prasenjit Bose, Economist; Mohan Guruswamy, Chairman & Founder, Center for Policy Alternatives; Mohandas Pai, former Director HR, Infosys and Dr Sandeep Shashtri, Political Commentator & Pro VC, Jain University -- discuss whether the Govt has gone too far with the diesel price hike and if this has a negative impact on the aam aadmi.