New Delhi [India], Mar 14 (ANI): The Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) on Saturday strongly condemned hike in excise duty on petrol and diesel, saying it is a "criminal assault on the people already suffering under economic recession."
The party demanded the withdrawal of hike in excise duty of petrol and diesel and said that retail prices must be lowered by 30 per cent to levels corresponding to the fall in the international prices.
"When international crude oil prices are falling sharply, the
Narendra Modi government as is its wont has increased the excise duty on petrol and diesel. This is a criminal assault on the people already suffering under economic recession," said the CPI-M Politburo in a statement.
"The special excise duty on petrol has been hiked by Rs 2 to Rs 8 per litre
in case of petrol and to Rs 4 in case of diesel. For every litre of petrol,
the excise duty is Rs 22.98 and on diesel 18.83. Simultaneously, the
road cess on petrol has also been raised by Rs 1 per litre each on petrol
and diesel to Rs 10," the party said.
The party said that when Administered Pricing Mechanism was dismantled by the government, the country was told that the benefits of a fall in crude prices would be passed on to the consumers.
"On the contrary, since the BJP assumed office in 2014, duties on
petrol have increased by 142 per cent and on diesel by a whopping 429 per cent," the statement said.
The party said that it would have been in the fitness of things to pass the benefits to the consumers who are facing difficulties due to the downturn in the economy and health concerns due to coronavirus.
It accused the government of being concerned more about "promoting the interests of corporates."
"Confronted with a recession in the economy which has been compounded by the huge health concern that the corona pandemic has created, it would have been in the fitness of things if the benefit of the fall in prices were passed on to the already overburdened consumer. This, however, cannot be expected from a government which is oblivious to the concerns of the common man and is more concerned in promoting the interests of corporates and its cronies," the party said. (ANI)