On 25/6/2010 the government of India increased prices of petrol by Rs.3.50, diesel by Rs.2/- kerosene by Rs.3/- per litre and LPG by Rs.35/-per cylinder. Petrol and diesel prices were decontrolled.
The increase has come at a time when food price inflation is about 18%.
The increase was avoidable. For the week ended 18/6/2010 foreign exchange reserves increased by $3 billion. If the government had not increased foreign exchange reserves the dollar value would have gone down making oil import cost less and there would have been no need for price increase.
rollback price hike. UPA allies have opposed price hike.
If a cut motion is passed the government falls. Many have commented that no party wants elections and cut motion will not be passed. Some parties may not like to vote with BJP. They are wrong. The unity shown by the parties on budget day may repeat. Left Front has said the price rise is not a political issue, it is a peopleâ€™s issue. They will remind people that Congress voted with BJP to pull down V. P. Singh government. In politics there are no permanent friends or enemies.
On 9/3/2010 Rajya Sabha passed womenâ€™s reservation bill 186-1. Before that seven members were suspended. They refused to leave the house and marshals lifted and carried them out. BSP members walked out. TMC members abstained. BSP and TMC are headed by women. Congress, BJP and Left Front had issued whips in favour of the bill.
On 26/2/2010 when budget was presented members of all opposition parties had walked out in protest against the rise in petrol and diesel prices. If the intention of passing the bill was to break opposition unity the government succeeded.
Interestingly in the bill Rajya Sabha does not have reservation for women.
During TV discussions some people who favoured womenâ€™s reservation mentioned that Pakistan has 27% reservation for women and Afghanistan 20%. Do these people want India to end up like Pakistan and Afghanistan which have many terrorists? Possibly the reservations are one reason for terrorism. Men who could have become legislators were deprived of their chance and took to guns. In that case India with 33% reservation can become worse than Pakistan.