Attacking Modi government over its decision to increase excise duty on Petrol and Diesel, Congress today accused it of “blatantly profiteering at the cost of common people” saying this amounts to further “bleeding” the farmer already crushed by an agrarian crisis.
“In a move that amounts to blatantly profiteering at the cost of common people, for whose benefit Governments are elected – excise on Diesel and Petrol were increased for the seventh time today by Rs 2.00 and Rs 0.37 respectively.
“Instead of passing on the benefits of record low international crude oil prices to the consumers, Government is consistently making a windfall gain for itself. The hike in excise affected today is expected to earn the Government, an additional Rs 4,300 crore, which will be over and above the gain of about Rs 4,000 crore that the last hike in excise duty accrued,” party spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said.
In a statement, Surjewala noted that the international prices of crude oil have fallen to an unprecedented low level of below 33 USD per barrel, the lowest in 12 years and are equivalent to year 2004 crude oil prices.
“Regrettably, Modi government is indulging in profiteering by imposing unprecedented taxes in shape of excise and customs on crude oil – especially on diesel which amounts to further bleeding the farmer already crushed by an agrarian crisis and the common commuter who is being made to pay through his nose for travelling in trains and buses,” the AICC Communication department Chairman said in a press statement.
His reaction came as Government today hiked excise duty on petrol by Rs 0.37 per litre and by Rs 2 a litre on diesel, the second increase in duties in just over two weeks, to mop up a little less than Rs 4,400 crore.
However, there will be no increase in retail selling price of petrol and diesel as state-owned oil firms had not passed on the full benefit of a reduction in international oil prices to consumers on January 1.
Reacting sharply to it, Surjewala said,”On one hand, common man is already overburdened by unprecedented increase in prices of food products like pulses, edible oil, vegetable and flour, Modi government is imposing the burden of additional taxes in shape of Service Tax (14 percent), Swachh Bharat Cess (0.5 percent) and Skill Development Tax, thereby breaking the back of the entire populace”.