The West Jaintia Hills District Congress Committee (WJHDCC) on Tuesday has demanded the President of India Ram Nath Kovind to direct the Narendra Modi-led government at the Centre to roll back the petrol-diesel prices.
“We, therefore, urge upon your goodself to direct the immediate roll back of Petrol-Diesel prices and Excise Duty increased post 5th March, 2020 and pass on this benefit to the people of India in these difficult times,” DCC president P Suting said in a letter submitted to Kovind through the deputy commissioner.
The DCC said the repeated and unjust increase in the prices as also the Central excise duty on petrol and diesel over the last three months of the lockdown has inflicted insurmountable pain and suffering on the people of India.
“As the country faces unprecedented health and economic pandemic, Modi Government is profiteering from the misery of the people by repeated increases in prices as also excise duty on petrol and diesel,” it alleged.
The letter informed that in May, 2014 (when BJP assumed power), excise duty on petrol was Rs.9.20 per litre and on diesel was Rs.3.46 per litre. In the last six years, Union BJP Government has increased the Excise Duty on Petrol by an Additional 23.78 per litre and on Diesel by an Additional Rs.28.37 per litre.
Stating that this is a shocking 820% hike in excise duty on diesel and 258% increase in excise duty on petrol, the DCC further alleged, “Modi Government has earned Rs.18,00,000 crore in last six years by increase in excise duty on petrol and diesel alone. Since the lockdown three months ago, the extent of extortion and profiteering by repeated increases in prices and excise duty on petrol and diesel has surpassed all forms of exploitation.”
“On 5th March 2020, the price of Petrol and Diesel was increased by Rs.3 per litre. On 5th of May 2020, the Modi Government increased the Excise Duty on Diesel by Rs.13 per litre and on Petrol by Rs.10 per litre. Since 7th June 2020 till 24th June 2020, the heartless Modi Government has consecutively increased the prices of Petrol and Diesel for 18 days leading to a further increase of Rs.10.48 per litre for Diesel and Rs.8.50 per litre for Petrol.Hence, in last 3½ months alone, BJP Government has increased the Price and Excise Duty on Diesel by Rs.26.48 per litre and on Petrol by Rs.21.50 per litre. What can be worse exploitation of the people by a government?”
It said the biggest proof of cheating the people of India and bleeding their hard- earned money can be gauged from the fact that crude oil prices have actually gone down over the last few months.
On 24th June 2020, crude oil price was US$ 43.41 or Rs.3,288.71 per barrel. One barrel has 159 litres. Hence, the per litre crude oil price as on 24th June 2020 would be Rs.20.68 per litre. As against this, the Price of Petrol-Diesel is touching Rs.80 per litre establishing sheer profiteering and fleecing of people of India by the Modi Government.
The DCC said that when the Congress-UPA government was in power, the price of crude oil was US$ 108 per barrel, which has fallen to US$ 43.41 per barrel as on 24th June, 2020 i.e. a decline of 60%. Despite this, the BJP Government has raised the prices of Petrol-Diesel sky high.