Slash Fuel Prices or Face Stir: AICC
Cong says the Centre hiking prices to fill its coffers, seeks white paper on taxes on fuel
Our Political Bureau
New Delhi: The Congress on Friday stepped up the offensive on the Narendra Modi government by demanding an immediate "course correction" in petrol and diesel prices by withdrawing "the massive central excise duties and other taxes" failing which the party has threatened to start a national agitation.
Pointing out the low international crude rates, the AICC has accused the Centre of increasing fuel prices in order to fill its coffers and demanded the government to come out with a White Paper on the taxes on fuels and the gains from them. “The Modi government has dealt a devastating blow to the savings of common people by brazenly increasing central excise duty 11 times in the past 3.5 years —133.47% on petrol, and 400.86% on diesel. The government has also robbed 18.11 crore LPG consumers of the country by raising the prices of subsidised LPG cylinder by ₹ 75 in the past three years, and has not even spared the poorest as kerosene prices too have grown in double digits throughout this fiscal year,” AICC spokesperson Ajay Maken said at an official briefing.
“While international crude oil prices have dropped by more than 52% since the NDA government took over on May 26, 2014, domestic petrol prices have skyrocketed to a 3-year-high,” Maken said while alleging that “with massive hikes in central excise duty, the BJP government is filling up its coffers at the cost of the common man. The BJP government earned a windfall of about ₹ 2.5 lakh crore from a reduction in crude oil prices.”
The former Union minister said the total contribution of petroleum to the central and state exchequers have crossed 5-lakh crore mark at ₹ 5,24,304 crore in 2016-17.