The Congress has denied the allegations that oil bond payments are to be blamed for the centre’s claimed inability of giving relief to people.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman today told reporters that the government would have easily given relief from high oil prices if it did not had to bear the cost of oil bonds that the previous government had issued to companies.
Under former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) had issued oil bonds – or instruments in lieu of cash subsidy to oil marketing companies – that are up for redemption now.
Explaining why she can’t cut excise duty on petrol and diesel for now, the Finance Minister said: “If I had not incurred the UPA’s oil bonds worth over ₹ 1. 4 lakh crore, I would have given relief from petroleum prices.”
“The centre and states need to sit down and find a way forward to resolve high petroleum prices,” Ms Sitharaman told reporters.
The Congress, so far, has denied the allegations that oil bond payments are to be blamed for the centre’s claimed inability of giving relief to people.