The Congress today accused the government of not passing on to consumers the benefits of revenue it has earned by hiking excise duty on oil products, saying it garnered over Rs 5.5 lakh crore and should tell the people what it has done with the money. Party leader Mallikarjun Kharge raised the issue in the Lok Sabha, noting that the price of crude was USD 110 per barrel in March 2014, two months before the BJP came to power, which had come down to USD 40 in June 2016. It was USD 60 yesterday, he said. He said petrol and diesel prices were not reduced in line with the falling price and instead, excise duty on diesel was hiked by 386 per cent and on petrol by 126 per cent.
“You have earned Rs 1.62 lakh crore annually and Rs 5.50 lakh crore in total so far. No benefit has reached the people so far, while the extra revenue has gone to public exchequer,” Kharge said during the Zero Hour. He claimed that the government has instead reduced the benefits of welfare schemes, including those meant for Dalits. “You should tell the people under which scheme this money has been used,” he demanded of the government.