Cong demands rollback of excise duty on fuel prices
New Delhi: Hitting out at the government over rise in fuel prices, the Congress on Saturday demanded that the government should rollback the increase in excise duty on fuel prices and pass on the benefit of reduced international crude oil prices to the people by reducing the hiked rates of petrol-diesel-LPG gas post March 5, 2020.
The Congress has also asked the government to bring petrol and diesel under the ambit of GST.
In a statement issued on Saturday, Congress general secretary Randeep Singh Surjewala pointed out that the government had increased petrol and diesel 14 and 13 times respectively in the last 16 days since November 19, 2020.
"In May, 2014 (when BJP assumed power), excise duty on petrol was Rs 9.20 per litre and on diesel it was Rs 3.46 per litre. In the last six years, the Central government has increased the excise duty on petrol by an additional Rs 23.78 per litre and on diesel by an additional Rs 28.37 per litre, which amounts to 820 per cent hike in excise duty on diesel and 258 per cent increase on petrol," he said.
However, Surjewala added that the Modi government has earned Rs 19 lakh crore in the last six and half years by increasing excise duty on petrol and diesel alone.
"Since the lockdown eight months ago, the extent of extortion and profiteering by repeated increases in prices and excise duty on petrol and diesel have surpassed all forms of exploitation," Surjewala said.
The Congress general secretary said the consistent rise in prices of petrol and diesel by the Modi government is adding to people's woes.
"The biggest proof of cheating the people of India and bleeding their hard-earned money can be gauged from the fact that crude oil prices is far less as compared to the UPA rule but the diesel and petrol prices are much higher than the UPA rates," he said.
"On December 3, the crude oil price was US$ 48.18 or Rs 3,560.46 per barrel. One barrel has 159 litres. Hence, the per litre crude oil price would be Rs 22.39 per litre," he said