Sir, the oil pool deficit has been chasing us as a result of our own negligence in tapping the vast resources. We are not masters. We are only servants. We have no right to penalise the people who vote us to power and positions. Therefore, I request the hon. Prime Minister, the hon. Finance Minister and the hon. Minister for Petroleum, Shri Ram Naik to open their eyes and see the miseries of the people and withdraw the decision to hike the price of diesel and leave the entire matter to a Parliamentary Committee.

Sir, the whole matter could be referred to the scrutiny and recommendation of a Parliamentary Committee constituted for the purpose with a timeframe. I strongly oppose the decision of the Government and I hope that without further delay the Government will gracefully withdraw this anti-people, anti-farmer and anti-democratic decision.

֮ ɨɮɴ Vvɴ ({ɮx): ɦ{i ɽn, bWɱ E EҨi V r < , = {ɮ SS {ɮ ɮ n E vx +V < nx E iɮ M + * ɱE ii {I E + , ʡ bVɱ E EҨi r E q +ɨ Vxi Vc + * ɮ`c, ɽɮɹ] Ij +i Vɽ E EɶiEɮ E J ʤVx Ji * < |Eɮ Oɨh +l-ɴɺl E v iɱE bWɱ Vc + * ɮ V U] EɶiEɮ, Sɽ ]E]Ů Sɱi , {ɨ{ | Ei ]E V{ ]{ Sɱi , =x {ɮ bVɱ E EҨi E r E +ɮ {c Ei *

ɦ{i ɽn, Vxi E bVɱ E EҨi <]xxɱ ɱ {ɮ g M< + Sɮ {ɪ |i ] bVɱ E ڱ giɮ < , ʡ Mƴ E U] EɶiEɮ + +ɨ Vxi VɺE bVɱ v iɱE , ɮEɮ =x ڱ E ƺ JE +ɨ Vxi E iEҡ E nڮ E*

V P] + V +iɮǹ]Ҫ Wɮ bWɱ E EҨi g , <xE iɱɨ JE ni V +n i , V ]{, ]E Sɱi , V | {ɨ{ W Ei , ]E] Sɱi , =x {ɮ + Ex {ɮ <E +ɮ * <ʱB ii {I i B +nhҪ j V +{ұ EM E x JE bWɱ E EҨi E Ex E |ɪɺ E* vxɴn*

SHRI BASUDEB ACHARIA (BANKURA): Mr. Chairman, hike in the price of diesel to the extent of 35 per cent at the midnight of 5th of October by the caretaker Government is a fraud committed on the people of our country. I say so because the Government had waited for more than eight months to take that decision and to announce the steep hike in diesel price.

The papers circulated by the Petroleum Minister, Shri Ram Naik state that international price of diesel started increasing from February, 1999. It was Rs.3210 per metric tonne and it increased to Rs.7020 per metric tonne. When the price increased in the month of February, then again in the month of March, why was the domestic sale price of diesel not adjusted? In the month of April, the price was adjusted by a marginal reduction but in the same year the excise duty was increased in the Budget by one rupee per litre. So what was reduced was absorbed by the increase in the excise duty of one rupee per litre. So, in effect, there was no reduction in the domestic sale price of diesel when there was a reduction in the international price of diesel.

The argument being advanced by the Government is that if the domestic sale price of diesel is not increased following the increase in the international price of diesel, the deficit by the end of this year would be increased to Rs.10,000 crore and hence the steep hike is essential. The amount that is generated by the hike of about 40 per cent would be Rs.6000 crore. Even after this 40 per cent increase, there will still be a deficit which would amount to not less than Rs.4500 crore by the end of this year.

Why was this Oil Pool created? It was created in 1975 to ensure equal prices of petroleum products throughout the country.

This Oil Pool was created and it generated surplus up to 1993 and the Minister of Finance appropriated Rs.8,900 crore from the surplus which was generated in the Oil Pool Account upto 1993. (Interruptions) The Ministry is in a continuous process.


SHRI BASU DEB ACHARIA : Blame is also continuous because when United Front Government was there and when they also increased, we opposed it by sitting on that side. You could remember, Shri Ram Naik, we never supported the anti-people action taken by any Government, whichever Government. When there was deficit and there is deficit, why the Minister of Finance should not transfer that amount with interest? I have also worked out that amount and it is not less than Rs.20,000 crore, Shri Yashwant Sinha. If we add the amount which was surplus up to 1993, even 5 per cent interest which has been reduced, the amount would be not less than Rs.20,000 crore. If that amount is transferred to Oil Pool Account, then there should not be any deficit in the Oil Pool Account and Government need not increase the price of diesel and, as a result of increase of price of diesel, there has been cascading effect on all the commodities. All the vegetables in Delhi itself, in the Capital today, the prices are double of what was one month ago. Why I say that it has committed a fraud on the people of our country is because they chose that particular date to announce the decision which was taken much earlier, at least 15 days before the election was held. Then why the decision was taken 15 days before the election? Why was not that announced before the election? Why they waited for the election, before the counting, before the result? Why could they not wait for a week? Heavens would not have fallen if the Caretaker Government would have waited for the new Government to come to take such a vital decision by the new Government and when the Parliament was also being convened and summoned, why was this not brought before Parliament also? There should be some transparency in the action of the Government. What was the rationale behind it? Why was the result announced? Why such a decision was taken? Why the price of diesel was hiked? What is the impact of the increase in diesel prices? Not only the prices of the essential commodities -- I am not holding brief for the truck operators here -- they have gone on strike and because of that, what is the impact on the prices of essential commodities? What will happen to the railway freight? We have been clamouring for years together. Shri Ram Naik will be knowing because he was also in charge of railways that in 1951-52, railways used to carry 80 per cent of freight traffic. Now it has come down to 25 per cent only.

The bulk of the freight traffic is being carried by the road. The Railways have adopted a policy to increase its market share and if the market share of the Railways, particularly of freight traffic, is increased to ten per cent, there will be a reduction in the consumption of diesel. The share of Railways is only nine per cent. With nine per cent share, the Railways is carrying 425 million tonnes. As there is a low investment in the railway development, we must demand and suggest that there must be more investment for railway development, particularly for electrification.

I have a number of suggestions. These are suggestions on how this problem could be resolved. I will suggest both short-term and long-term measures. As regards short-term measures, Shri Ram Naik, what is required is rationalisation of our natural gas prices. There is no rationality in the natural gas prices. There should be tax on luxury cars of 1,000 cc and above, on private diesel vehicles and on captive diesel generators used by industry. Then, there should be a reduction of customs duty on crude by 15 per cent. Shri Yashwant Sinha, this is my suggestion to you. If you reduce the customs duty to some extent, there will be an impact on the prices of diesel and other petroleum products.

As regards long-term measures, as I have already said, the return of oil pool account, the surplus of Rs.8,900 crore, including the interest, will come up to Rs.20,000 crore on Inter-Departmental rates. There should be rationalisation of excise and customs duties so that a part of duties collected can go towards the oil pool account. Another problem is that our indigenous production is being reduced. In the earlier days, in 1979-80, it was 37 per cent. It went up to 70 per cent in 1984-85. It has now come down to 42 per cent. There has been a low investment for exploration. As a result, we are gradually depending on import of crude and our oil pool account deficit is increasing year after year. So, I will suggest that the Government should invest more for the development of oilfields, for more exploration. We should depend on our indigenous crude. Indigenous crude production should be increased. It was 70 per cent in the year 1984-85. We should reach that level so that we can reduce our dependence on import of crude.

Sir, as this decision is the most undemocratic decision taken by this Government when it was a caretaker Government, I demand - as almost all sections of this House demanded - that there should be a review of the decision. Gulf cess was imposed in the year 1990, but still it is continuing when the Gulf war was over eight or nine years back. So, that can be withdrawn. I also demand that the decision to increase the price of diesel to the extent of 35 per cent be withdrawn. The Government should also convene a meeting of leaders of all the political parties to discuss how this problem could be resolved. So, I demand that the decision to increase the price of diesel which was taken on the 5th October be withdrawn.

nx |ɺn Vɪɺɴɱ (iɪ): ɦ{i V, +V BE ɽi + q {ɮ nx ʴSɮ E * bVɱ E |< g + =E Ƥv ɮ =vɮ E V ʨj , Eɡ Sxii * Vɺ ɨɪ bVɱ E |< E ]ESɮ x E bVɱ E nɨ E iɪ M, ɮ ʨj Pִƶ ɤ c V-V l, Si E ɽ ɱ 1.9.97 E + + = ɨɪ +{ = ɮEɮ V j l Vɺx ɽ ɱ ʱɪ l* = ɨɪ <xp E֨ɮ MVɮɱ E ɮEɮ l + +{ =E ɨlE l*

ɦ{i V, +{E i xɨ xɽ Ei Ex ɮ +Sɪ V + Exɺ] ʨj

... (ɴvx)

ɺɺn +Sɪ : x ʴɮv E l*

nx |ɺn Vɪɺɴɱ : +{ = ɨɪ =xE l + ɽM l*

ɺn +Sɪ : x ʴɮv E l*

nx |ɺn Vɪɺɴɱ : +{x ʴɮv E M Ex +{E i xɽ Sɱ* < ʴɹɪ E E +{x BE ɱ ʱɪ* = ɨɪ Vx E ɽx +ɱ {ڱ E P] EҤ 18,200 Ec {ɪ l* =E E Ex E ʱB = ɨɪ E ɮEɮ x, <xp E֨ɮ MVɮɱ E ɮEɮ x ɽ ɱ E E Fb +ɱ E |< E +vɮ {ɮ bVɱ E nɨ iɪ E Vɪ* Vɤ xxҪ +] ʤɽɮ V{ V E ɮEɮ l, nx E vx +E] Ex SɽM E = ɨɪ bVɱ E |< n ɮ P]ɪ Mɪ* +V iE E < nx E <iɽɺ E ɮEɮ x bVɱ E nɨ xɽ P]ɪ Ex xxҪ +] ʤɽɮ V{ E ɮEɮ x n ɮ bVɱ E nɨ P]ɪ* 2.9.97 E i i *

... (ɴvx)

|ɪɮVx nɺ ƶ (ɪMV): +{ = ɨɪ E <]xxɱ |< E E] Eʮ*

nx |ɺn Vɪɺɴɱ : =E E] EM* 2.9.97 E ֨< bVɱ E nɨ 11.53 {ɪ l VɤE 9.1.99 E bVɱ E nɨ 10.04 {ɪ l* ɽ bg {ɪ E V n ɮ E]i E M<, n ɽ xɽ E M< i i +V ɪn BE bg {ɪ nɨ gi* V ɮEɮ ɴɺl , =E +vɮ {ɮ bVɱ E nɨ j ... (ɴvx)

|ɪɮVx nɺ ƶ : = ɨɪ V +iɮǹ]Ҫ |< l, +{ =E E] Eʮ*

nx |ɺn Vɪɺɴɱ : n ʺE |< ʱɪ Vɪ i j 2 {ɪ 75 { nɨ g EE 20.4.99 E Vx ʮ<xɮV bVɱ xi , ɽ {ɮ bVɱ E nɨ 6.88 {B l + +V 9.93 {B + x 2.75 {B g * V ɽi ɮ ʨj n E ɮEɮ * Exɺ] {] E ɮEɮ , ɽi VMɽ EO {] E ɮEɮ * +M-+M VMɽ {ɮ +M-+M 䱺 ]E M B ,

+M-+M +E]ɪ Mi VɺE Vɽ VMɽ, E E ]{]x ʺ]W nɨ c ʦxxi + Vi * n +V n E nɨ 13.91 {ɪ i EEii 14.20 {ɪ Mɪ, ֨< 16.54 {ɪ Mɪ, Sxx< 15.24 {ɪ Mɪ* Exp ɮEɮ M Ex SɽM E < ɮ V ɮEɮ E xn n VB E bVɱ E nɨ VMɽ BE iɮ E ]E MB VB Vɺɺ VMɽ Sɽ ֨< , n , nɨ BE ɮɤɮ * +V ֨< ɱ E ʱB giiɮ Sɮ {ɪ M , ɮi ɮEɮ x 2.75 {ɪ gB Ex ֨< E M Sɮ {ɪ +vE { E * < i E ]ESɮ E E Exp ɮEɮ E V ɮEɮ {ɮ nɴ bɱx SʽB*

|ɪ Vx nɺɨƶ E = ɨɪ E nɨ iB* ɮ ɽx Fb +ɱ E nɨ 3210 {ɪ l* =E n +V Fb +ɱ E nɨ 7070 {ɪ MB* 119 |iɶi E giiɮ < * ɮEɮ x j 35-38 |iɶi bVɱ E nɨ gB * |ɪ Vx nɺɨƶ V Ex SɽM E n +{E ɮEɮ *

... (ɴvx)

|ɪ Vx nɺɨƶ : Vɤ +] V x |< P]B, = ɨɪ +iɮǹ]Ҫ |< Eix l, ɽ Vɮ ɨZB*

nx |ɺn Vɪɺɴɱ : ɽ {ڮ b] i +{E {ɺ *

... (ɴvx)

ɦ{i ɽn : =E Vɴɤ j V nM*

... (ɴvx)

nx |ɺn Vɪɺɴɱ : +{x EO E ʨj Vxx Sɽi , +V E]Pɮ Jc , n bVɱ E nɨ 38 |iɶi gB MB i <xE ɮEɮ x n ɺ E c |iɶi E g n* n <xx ɺ E c 40 |iɶi gɪ i i xi E MɮҤ Vxi E {Ivɮ * EO E ɮ ʨj i MɮҤ Vxi E ɤɺ +vE h Ex E ʱB ` B + =ɨ ɮ P V * P V E ɮ l ` Ei l Ex +VE vɨ {ʮix E n * +VE M vɨ {ʮix Ei i ɽi {V Ji *

... (ɴvx)

|ɴh ɹ]{ɱ ({]h) : ɨ ʴɱɺ V BE Vɨx ɽ `i l, ɽ E MB* E +{x =xE Jɮn ʱɪ ?

... (ɴvx)

E ʺƽ P ( E{bV) : +{ ʴnc E VB*

... (ɴvx)

nx |ɺn Vɪɺɴɱ : P V E vɨ {ʮix Mɪ + Vɤ vɨ {ʮix i i +n ɽi {V Ji * +VE P V ɽi {V Jx M *

... (ɴvx)

+{x ʨj Ex SɽM, +V +] ʤɽɮ V{ V E ɮEɮ E ɮ SS E E ɽ Eɨ Sɱ> ɮEɮ * Pִƶ ɤ {Ux Sɽi , Vɺ ɨɪ <p E֨ɮ MVɮɱ V E ɮEɮ l

... (ɴvx)

Pִƶ ɤ = ɨɪ j l* 4 nɨɮ, 1997 E E ɦ M M<* = ɨɪ <p E֨ɮ MVɮɱ E ɮEɮ Eɨ Sɱ> ɮEɮ l* =xx Vni E ɽɱ E, V{ɱ E ɽɱ E* Vɤ +] V E ɮEɮ BE i Mɮ M< i Sɮ +<.B.B. {nvEʮ E lxiɮh +* ɮ ʨj E , Eɨ Sɱ> ɮEɮ , E n E Ei , E ɱ E Ei * Eɨ Sɱ> ɮEɮ E Vni + V{ɱ E ɽɱ E Ei Ex Sɮ {nvEʮ E lxiɮh xɽ E Ei*

+V Vɺ E]Pɮ M Jc , < ʴɹɪ E E ʴɮv Ex E <xE E< xiE +vEɮ xɽ EE < ɱ <xE ɽMi + M = ɨɪ E {] E ɨlE l*

... (ɴvx)

j V +Oɽ Ex SɽM Ex E i Vx ʴiɮh |hɱ E nEx {ɮ 2.93 {ɪ |i ] ʨɱi Ex E V E MɮҤ Ei E 2.93 {ɪ Ex E i xɽ ʨɱi * MɮҤ Ei E {S {ɪ E Ex E i xɽ ʨɱ * +V Ex E i E nɨ <ix E E =E Eɮh ʨɱɴ] *

{] Ex i ʨɱɪ Vi , bVɱ Ex i ʨɱɪ Vi , <ʱB Ex i E <ix giɮ Vɰ E Vɪ* ɮEɮ M EM, E ɽ ʨɱɴ] xn * ɽ ʨɱɴ] x Mɱi i *

... (ɴvx)

ɦ{i ɽn, ɮEɮ ɽ M Ei , +{x ɽ iɪ E E 2001 E 2002 iE Ex E ʤb 33 {ɮ] {ɮ BM* < ʴɹɪ xhǪ E {] + bVɱ V ɽ ʨɱɴ] , EE nɨ E <ix ʮBx E = ʴɹɪ E E Ex i E nɨ gɪ Vx SʽB + |xi E ɮEɮ V Vx ʴiɮh |hɱ Sɱ , <x V E ɮEɮ {ɮ ɽ nɴ {cx SʽB E ɽ ڱ {ɮ Ex ={ɱɤv E E* <ɨ |xi E ɮEɮ ɤɺ +vE Mɱi Eɪ E *