June 5, 2018 10:21:56 pm
Senior Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia on Tuesday attacked Narendra Modi government over a “one paisa” reduction in fuel prices that have recorded a steady surge in the last few weeks.
“This government has insulted the common people by reducing the prices of petrol and diesel by just one paisa. I will call them as a ‘one paisa government’,” Scindia told reporters before boarding a bullock cart with state unit Congress president Kamal Nath as part of a protest against the price rise.
Petrol and diesel prices were cut by 1 paisa per litre each on May 30, the first reduction after 16 days of relentless price hikes. Scindia, who heads the MP Congress (Assembly) Election Campaign Committee, said the Congress launched the bullock cart protest as it wanted to showcase the anger in common people who are reeling under the fuel price hikes. Besides Scindia and Nath, hundreds of Congress workers rode bullock carts as part of the protest.
The bullock cart rally, which was started from the state Congress headquarters on Link Road, was expected to culminate outside the residence of Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan. However, police stopped the protesters midway near the New Market before they could reach their desired destination. Scindia recalled that diesel and petrol were sold at Rs 60 and Rs 65 per litre, respectively, under the erstwhile UPA rule even as the international crude oil rate was USD 120 per barrel.
“Contrary to this, petrol is now sold at Rs 82 per litre and diesel at Rs 70-75 per litre when the international price of oil is USD 120 per barrel,” the Congress leader said. This NDA government is a “suit boot ki sarkar” which is collecting more than Rs 3 lakh crore per year through petroleum products. He said Excise duty on petrol has been raised to Rs 19 from Rs 9 (per litre), which amounts to a 221 per cent hike.
“Excise duty on diesel has been raised to Rs 15.50 (per litre) from Rs 3.70 (per litre) which translates into a 471 per cent hike,” the Guna MP said.
He said people from Madhya Pradesh are paying a Value Added Tax (VAT) at 28 per cent on petrol and at 22 per cent on diesel, “which is fetching the state government (revenue of) Rs 600 crore per month.
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