Congress attacks Centre over rising fuel prices, falling rupee (Lead)
New Delhi : The Congress on Friday attacked the Modi government over "skyrocketing" fuel prices and claimed that over Rs 11 lakh crore was earned from taxes imposed on fuels while the rupee is at a record low of Rs 71 per dollar.
"Monstrous taxes levied by the government have resulted in skyrocketing petrol and diesel prices. The government has already profited by over Rs 11 lakh crore from draconian taxes on fuel," Congress leader Randeep Singh Surjewala said in a statement.
"There has been an increase of 211.7 per cent in excise levy on petrol and 433.06 per cent on diesel since the BJP came to power in May 2014," he said. The central excise duty was hiked 12 times since then," he said.
He said petrol and diesel prices were at an all-time high and the common people, the farmers, transporters and small and medium businesses were bearing the brunt.
Surjewala said that diesel price at Rs 70.26 per litre was impacting farmers' lifeline, besides having a stinging effect on runaway food inflation. Petrol at Rs 78.57 per litre in Delhi had gravely impacted the transportation and commuting cost of the common man, the Congress leader added.
"No matter how many alibis and untruths the BJP weaves, the truth is that the government systematically weakened our economy. Deliberate accidents like demonetisation, flawed GST, weakened banking sector and tax terrorism are squarely responsible," said Surjewala.
"Rupee is in the ICU. The Modi government is in its last lap. All tall promises made by Modi during the 2014 Lok Sabha elections have disappeared from the BJP narrative," he added.
Slamming the government for exporting petrol and diesel at cheaper prices, Surjewala said: "Petrol and diesel are available in India in Rs 78-Rs 86 range and Rs 70-Rs 75 range respectively, but an RTI reply has revealed that the government is selling petrol to 15 countries at just Rs 34 per litre and diesel to 29 countries at Rs 37."
"This is how the government has betrayed and backstabbed the people of India."
Surjewala said that the Modi government and the BJP had refused to "listen to us" on bringing petrol and diesel under the GST.
"The Congress wants to caution the government once again to make a belated course correction so that the economy can be saved," he added.