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‘Excise duty cut on fuels a panic reaction of BJP ahead of polls’

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on October 04, 2018

Fuel pump at a fuel station   -  The Hindu

Cong: Bring petrol and diesel under the gambit of GST

 

The opposition parties described the Centre’s excise duty cut in petrol and diesel as a “panic reaction” to people’s anger ahead of the Assembly elections in five States, and the Lok Sabha elections next year.

The Congress likened it to applying “band aid” after inflicting a “thousand cuts on the people”.

Alleged profiteering

“After inflicting a thousand wounds by massive profiteering from the prices of petrol, diesel, kerosene oil, cooking gas, CNG, PNG and natural gas, the Modi government is trying to apply a band-aid. Since May 2014, the Modi government has increased Central excise duty 12 times —raising Central excise on petrol by 211 per cent and diesel by 443 per cent. Custom duty has been increased manifold,” said Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala.

“When Congress demitted office in May, 2014, the Central excise duty was ₹9.23 per litre on petrol. The Modi government has raised it to ₹19.48 per litre. Excise duty on diesel in 2014 was merely ₹3.46 per litre. Modi government has raised it to ₹15.33 per litre. Now they are trying to fool people by slashing Central excise by just ₹ 1.50 per litre,” he said.

He pointed out that when the Congress demitted office, the price of crude was $107.09 per barrel while the present price is $86. “The crude was at much lower price almost through the BJP’s tenure and yet, the prices of petrol and diesel have sky rocketed. They have looted the people,” said Surjewala.

“Our demand is that rather than giving such meagre cuts, bring back the 2014 prices of petrol and diesel and under the ambit of the GST,” said Surjewala.

‘Reduce price by ₹10’

According to the Aam Aadmi Party chief and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, the fuel price cut is a “betrayal” of the people. “Modi government increased excise duty by ₹10 and now cut it by ₹1.50. This is a betrayal. The Centre should reduce it by at least ₹10 per litre.”

Communist Party of India leader and Member of Parliament D Raja described the fuel price cut as “too little and too late”. The Centre allowed the companies to reap windfall gains when global crude prices were low. Now, the companies and the Centre should compensate by reducing taxes and prices, he said.

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Published on October 04, 2018
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