By Siddharth Sharma
New Delhi [India], February 25 (ANI): After LPG prices were hiked by Rs 25 on Thursday, Congress leaders Supriya Shrinate and Vineet Punia, in an eyecatching endeavour, sat on LPG cylinders while addressing media here on Thursday over the continuous rise of prices of fuel.
Addressing the press conference, Shrinate said, "Today we are sitting on empty gas cylinders because I do not think, any of us, the common man have the wherewithal to get these cylinders refilled. So, they are best kept as showpieces in our homes."
"We expected this government to bring down prices, but prices were further hiked by Rs 25 per LPG gas cylinder," she said.
Questioning the central government, she said, "Why are you anti-people, why are you raising prices, why are you not rolling back the excise duty hikes?
She further accused the Modi government of being a "shameless" administration.
Targeting Prime Minister, she said, "Prime Minister says that the current situation is because of the imports made by the previous governments and he is helpless. This is a big lie, because, in his tenure, our imports of crude oils have gone up. In the Congress party's tenure, they were 83 per cent and in his tenure, it has gone to 88 per cent and it is not because we are consuming more but due to the economic slowdown. Our consumption growth rate has dipped from 6.7 per cent to 2.2 per cent."
Shrinate also questioned why funds and cash reserves of Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) were halved.
"Earlier ONGC had funds worth Rs 12,000 crores and now they are left with funds of only Rs 6,000 crores. It was sitting on cash reserves of Rs 11,000 crores and today they have cash reserves of less than a thousand crore rupees. This is because they made ONGC forcibly buy Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited due to which ONGC has been left with very little cash reserves."
She said that the government has not only just increased the prices but has also lied to the people.
"They lie about subsidy on LPG cylinder; the reality is that this Government has made market price and controlled price the same. It is the difference between market prices and controlled prices, which is the subsidy. So, if you were paying Rs 794 as market prices for LPG and the controlled price was Rs 500, you would have got Rs 294 as a subsidy. LPG cylinder in Delhi now costs Rs 794 and because they have been raising prices so frequently, the market and the controlled prices are the same and hence there is no subsidy. Dharmendra Pradhan, stop lying to the country about paying subsidy on LPG cylinder and it is very evident, in your budget this year. Nirmala Sitharaman has put fuel subsidy at Rs 12,000 crore, which is one-third of what it was last year."
"This government has become morally dead. As being in government, getting the comfort, getting used to the luxury of being a Minister, perhaps make you oblivious and perhaps make you blind towards the plight of the common people, but, it is these common people, who have put you in positions of power and it will take no time before they pull you out," she added. (ANI)