Reacting sharply to Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister M Veerappa Moily’s alleged proposal to shut petrol pumps from 8 pm to 8 am, Communist Party of India (CPI) leader Gurudas Dasgupta on Monday likened it to being a curfew and said that the country is heading towards a economic emergency. “Its like a curfew, we are heading towards economic emergency," said Dasgupta, suggesting that the government must get petrol from Iran.
Another CPI leader, D Raja, said the government has come up with such a proposal out of frustration. "The government is desperate, panicky because they have failed to manage economy," said Raja.
Meanwhile, Samajwadi Party leader and Rajya Sabha MP Naresh Agarwal rejected Moily's plan by saying this is not how the country's economic situation can be improved. However, after facing flak for his alleged proposal, Moily said the suggestion had come "from the public and others."
“I’m very sorry, we have already made it very clear that this is not our idea. This is the idea which is coming from the public and others. We just said these are the ideas, we have not taken any decision yet. No decision will be taken to keep petrol pumps dry in any corner of the country,” Moily told media here. "There are various options and ideas that have been floated. Shutting petrol pumps during the night is one of them. But we have not decided. It is just a proposal," Moily said. “No consideration on these ideas yet, if Opposition has brilliant ideas we welcome it,” he added.
Moily on Sunday said his ministry was planning to prohibit fuels pumps from staying open at night as part of the government’s plan to check fuel consumption in the country. Moily also urged people to take some austerity steps to conserve fuel, and added that the economy can be saved from deterioration if people cooperate and conserve petroleum.