Reacting to the proposal, Chidambaram said, "It's not a government suggestion, but one which had come from the public as the Oil Minister has himself clarified."
"Should the government close itself to the public's suggestions?," he asked.
After facing flak for his alleged proposal, Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister M. Veerappa 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.
"The consumption of petroleum should be conserved. We need to adopt some austerity measures. The people should cooperate with us. We are importing 80 percent of the petroleum in terms of dollar. Investors are investing in dollar, so dollar price is going up. Petroleum companies have lost 80 thousand crores in the recent times," he said.
"We want to create an opportunity to conserve petrol during this crisis. People should take some austerity steps to save petrol. Only then the economy can be saved. If I can save 25 billion dollars in terms of reduction of import, I will be adding one percent to the GDP. By conserving the oil energy by the people, the GPD will become 5.5 percent and this will change the economy of the country," he added.
Oil companies on Saturday hiked the price of petrol by Rs. 2.35 per litre and diesel by 50 paise per litre.
This is the sixth hike in petrol prices in two months, whereas the prices of diesel have been hiked eight times since January 17.
--ANI (Posted on 02-09-2013)