Defending the government amid sky rocketing fuel prices in the country despite international crude rates stabilising, Petroleum Minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Thursday said that around Rs 1.5 lakh crore of oil bonds issued by the Congress-led UPA regime remain outstanding, which has limited the financial capabilities of state-owned oil companies.
"In ''India's Lost Decade'' known for rampant impunity and policy paralysis, UPA Govt saddled future govts with Oil Bonds. More than Rs 1.5 lakh cr of these remain to be repaid, thus tying up crucial resources, limiting fiscal space & restricting financial freedom of oil marketing companies (OMCs)," he tweeted.
Keeping up with the attack, the minister, who was retaliating to the Congress leader Rahul Gandhi's charge of the government running on gas, diesel and petrol (GDP), further tweeted that "the important exploration and production sector was fund-starved. As a result, our import bill continues to be high. Nearly Rs 3.6 lakh crore profits of oil companies was instead used for price stabilisation by a remote controlled govt of ‘economic experts' to hide behind a ‘All is Well' smokescreen".
Earlier on Wednesday, Mr Gandhi while attacking the government for hiking fuel prices, had said that Rs 23 lakh crore has been collected in the last seven years by increasing prices of gas, diesel and petrol, which he alluded to as GDP.