The Congress on Friday said it will launch a nationwide agitation next week against the increase of central excise duty on petroleum products, saying the Centre was “looting people”. It dared the government to come out with a white paper on taxes on fuels. The main Opposition party alleged that the government was profiteering at the expense of the common man. “While international crude oil prices have come down by more than 52 per cent since the Narendra Modi government came to power, petrol prices have touched a three-year high. With massive hikes in central excise duty, the BJP government is filling up its coffers at the cost of the common man,” senior Congress leader Ajay Maken said.
The Congress claimed the government had increased central excise duty 11 times in the past three-and-a-half years. The increase, Maken said, is 133 per cent on petrol and 400 per cent on diesel. He claimed that for every Rs 100 of petrol, the government is getting Rs 51.78 in taxes. In case of diesel it is Rs 44.40, he added.
“Not only this, the Modi government has also robbed 18.11 crore LPG consumers of the country by increasing the prices of subsidised LPG cylinders by Rs 75 in the past three years,” Maken said.
Maken said the Modi government is giving “absurd” reasons like Hurricanes Harvey and Irma for the increase in fuel prices. There should be an immediate course correction by withdrawing the massive central excise duties and other taxes imposed on fuel products, he said.