Defending the rise in fuel prices across India, Union Minister for Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal on Sunday said that the Opposition is blaming the Bharatiya Janata Party-led central government over the hike in fuel prices out of frustration as they lost assembly elections in five states.
The prices of petrol and diesel were hiked again on Sunday, for the fifth time in a week, leading to an increase of Rs 3.70 and Rs 3.75 per litre respectively since Tuesday across the nation. "It's the Opposition's frustration for losing poll after poll that they're blaming us for the hike in fuel prices citing the end of polls... Why would PM Modi extend the PM Gareeb Kalyan Anna Yojana for 6 more months had it just been for polls," Goyal told ANI.
The minister said the fuel prices were hiked considering the international situation after the Ukraine crisis, despite the fact that the Government of India has tried to keep it under control.
"We are monitoring everything daily and regulating goods as per policy intervention. Fuel prices hiked with speed after the Ukraine crisis, despite which the government has tried to keep it under control. We didn't create this situation; it's not politics if it coincided with polls," he added.
His remarks came after the opposition parties hit out at the Centre for increasing the fuel prices after the conclusion of assembly elections.
The Union Cabinet on Saturday extended the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PM-GKAY) scheme for another six months - till September 2022 - with each beneficiary eligible to get an additional 5 kg free ration per month in addition to the normal quota of foodgrains under the NFSA.
Goyal lauded Prime Minister Narendra Modi over this decision and said that he has taken care of the country during the difficult time of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Russia launched a special military operation in Ukraine on February 24 with the goal of demilitarizing the country, neutralizing nationalist battalions, ensuring Ukraine remains a neutral country.
"The prices of fuel and almost all edibles, as well as fertilizers, have hiked in the whole world in view of the international condition. The world is facing problems due to inflation; India has still kept the prices of fertilizers, oil, grain, in check," he added.