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Even after excise duty cut, fuel prices higher than April 2014: Congress

BL New Delhi Bureau | Updated on: May 22, 2022
Gourav Vallabh, Spokesperson, Indian National Congress

Gourav Vallabh, Spokesperson, Indian National Congress

BJP is resorting to “trickery” and is creating an “optical delusion”, says Congress spokesperson Gourav Vallabh

Attacking the government, the Congress party on Sunday said that the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) is resorting to “trickery” and is creating an “optical delusion”. Congress spokesperson Gourav Vallabh said that even after the cut in excise duty, the prices of petrol, diesel and LPG cylinder are much higher than in April 2014.

“The BJP government’s cluelessness about the economy and financial management has been open for a long now. Instead of accepting it and seeking guidance from experts, BJP only resorts to trickery to create an optical delusion,” Vallabh said.

‘Excise duty still high’

He added, in April 2014, the excise duty on petrol was ₹9.48 per litre, and today (Sunday), after reduction, it is ₹19.9 a litre. There is still an increase of ₹10.52 per litre. If it is compared to the excise duty from 2014, it is more than double. Regarding diesel, in April 2014, the excise duty was ₹3.56 per litre. Today, after reduction, it is ₹15.8 a litre. It is more than four times. It is 444 per cent more than April 2014.

“Petrol prices have increased by ₹10 per litre in the last 60 days and then comes a reduction of ₹9.5 a litre. Isn’t this trickery? Diesel prices have increased by ₹10 per litre in the last 60 days and then comes a reduction of ₹7 per litre. How is this welfare?,” Vallabh said.

LPG prices have increased by 142 per cent between May 2014 and May 2022. After the “generous” reduction of ₹200, prices are still 94 per cent higher than in May 2014. LPG prices have increased by more than ₹400 in the last 18 months. In May 2014, LPG Cylinder prices were at ₹414. In May 2022, it is ₹803 only for Ujjawala cylinders. The prices are almost twice what it was in 2014, he pointed out.

The government on Saturday lowered the Central Excise Duty on petrol by ₹8 per litre and on diesel by ₹6 per litre. It also decided to cut customs duty on raw materials for plastic, iron and steel. Ujjawla beneficiaries will get a subsidy of ₹200 per cylinder for consumption of up to 12 cylinders a year.

Inflation numbers

“FM tweeted that the inflation has remained lower in their tenure. Is 15.1 per cent WPI low? Is 7.79 per cent retail inflation low? In my economics class, I wasn’t taught this. She claimed that her government is devoted to the welfare of the poor. The true face of your devotion to the welfare of the poor lies in the Oxfam report that claimed that, in 2021, income of 84 per cent households fell while the number of billionaires grew,” Vallabh said.

“The true face of the BJP’s devotion to the poor lies in the CMIE report in 2021, which mentioned that the income of 97 per cent of Indians fell during the pandemic. Of course, there are certain close friends of the government whose welfare is making headlines every day,” he added.

“What is preventing the BJP government from announcing true relief measure for the common people? Why resort to just optical delusion instead of concrete measures? Will the BJP government guarantee that the excise duties on petrol and diesel will not increase in the next 2 years? What measures are being taken to bring down the inflation to between 2 and 6 per cent as targeted by the RBI?,” Vallabh said.

Published on May 22, 2022
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