Slash Fuel Prices or Face Stir: AICC

Cong says the Cen­tre hik­ing prices to fill its cof­fers, seeks white pa­per on taxes on fuel

The Economic Times - - Pure Politics -

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.

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