P Chidambaram – Former Union Finance Minister:
The FM’s statement that servicing oil bonds stands in the way of giving relief on petrol and diesel prices is astonishing.
At best the statement is incredible ignorance; at the worst it is motivated malignity.
If the UPA government wanted to subsidise fuel prices, it had the choice of finding the money by borrowing directly or asking the oil companies to borrow.
In either case, servicing the loan (interest) would be the responsibility of the central government.
Every analyst and every lender knew that oil companies borrowed as a surrogate of the central government and mentally added the borrowing to the fiscal deficit.
Having profited several times over through exorbitant taxes and cesses on fuel, the NDA has no right to comment on the fuel subsidy.
The people know that UPA gave them relief and the NDA is crushing them through oppressive taxes and cesses.