Updated: July 6, 2021 12:51:27 am
With the steady increase in petrol prices, which touched Rs 100 per litre in West Bengal, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to minimise the central taxes levied on fuel, saying that the “cruel” hike in fuel prices has led to the increase in prices of essential food items.
In a letter to Modi, Banerjee wrote that since he became the prime minister in 2014, the tax and surcharge levied by the Central government on oil and petroleum products have been increased by a whopping 370 per cent “at the cost of the common people”.
“Shockingly, the retail price of petrol in many states across the country has crossed to an unprecedented Rs 100 per litre… I have come to learn that petrol and diesel prices were hiked by your government eight times since May 4, 2021, and out of these, prices were hiked six times in the month of June only and shockingly, four times in a week. These rather cruel hikes in petrol and diesel prices have affected the common people most adversely, and have directly impacted the dangerously rising inflation in the country.”
“Consumer Price Index rose by 6.30%, while the prices of edible oils used by common people every day rose by 30.8%, eggs by 15.2%, fruits by 12% and health-related items, in the middle of the pandemic, by as much as 8.44%. Much of this inflation was triggered by the petrol and diesel price hikes.”
“It is my earnest request that the taxes charged by the Central government on petrol and diesel be substantially reduced to give much-needed relief to the common people and also to check the overall inflationary trend in the country today,” the chief minister wrote.
“In the midst of this Covid pandemic, the Government of India has collected revenue of staggering Rs 3.71 lakh crore (Rs 3,71.725 crore) from oil and petroleum products in the financial year 2020-21. In fact, over the last six years of your Government, the Government of India’s tax collection from oil and petroleum products has jumped by a staggering 370% since 2014-15, due to constant hikes in Central Excise Duty on oil and petroleum products including cesses and surcharges, at the cost of the common people,” she wrote.
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