The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Sonia on lips, govt cuts prices

New Delhi, Feb. 15: Sonia Gandhi is turning out to be India’s petrol price manager.

The government today reduced the price of petrol by Rs 2 a litre and that of diesel by Re 1 and declared that the cut followed concerns expressed by Sonia over inflation that showed no sign of settling down in data released today.

Last November, too, the government had cut fuel prices — at the instance of Sonia.

This time, the matter is more pressing. Rising prices are becoming an issue in the middle of Assembly elections and allies like the Left have started piling pressure on the government to act.

The reduction in diesel prices is expected to bring down the price of transporting goods, which could help cool prices of essential commodities to some extent.

Petroleum minister Murli Deora had said fuel prices would be reduced only if the Indian import rate came down to $50 a barrel. This month, the rate has shot past $56 a barrel.

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