The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Wednesday lashed out at the Centre for rising inflation and increasing rail fare and demanded immediate withdrawal of the rail hike.
The party also wanted the central government to reconsider the decision of a possible hike in gas prices.
“Before the elections you (Narendra Modi) had promised the people of the country that after coming to power you will bring down the prices and reduce corruption. However, during the past one month, instead of reducing prices and taking steps to curb corruption, prices of many essential commodities have been increased leading to public outrage.”
“It is being seen that your government is resorting to increasing prices without eradicating corruption and this will not solve any problem. The extra money generated from such hikes is pilferaged,” AAP National Convener Arvind Kejriwal said in a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
He said that instead of hiking the rail fare to provide better facilities, the government should have taken steps to curb corruption in the system.
“The government logic is that to provide better facilities, fares have been hiked. But how can we accept this argument? Every government gives this faulty logic to justify the price hike. However, it’s been seen that despite regular fare hikes, facilities in railways have only deteriorated.
“It would have been better had your government deferred the railway fare hike for a year or six months at least, and instead should have taken some strong measures to curb corruption in railways,” the letter stated.
The former Delhi Chief Minister also slammed the government’s proposed move to increase gas price and alleged that such a move would only benefit Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance.
“We had apprehended earlier only that after the elections the prices of natural gas will be doubled. We sincerely request you not to hike gas prices which will only benefit Mukesh Ambani and the people will be further burdened by rising prices,” the letter added.
In his letter, Mr. Kejriwal added that a unit of gas from Reliance costs $4.205 while the RIL spends less than a dollar on production of one unit of gas and reaps a profit of more than 325 per cent.
“NICCO is RIL’s partner in gas production. Its statement for the financial year ending on 31 December 2012 submitted to the Canadian government; show that NICCO was incurring a cost of $ .43 to $ .74 per unit of gas on excavation with the RIL.
Papers show that NICCO and RIL were earning a profit of $ 3.02 to $ 3.31 per unit of gas after deducting the royalties etc.
“A letter by the RIL to the government of India on May 22, 2009 in which the company itself conceded that the cost of production comes to $ .8945 per unit of gas,” Mr. Kejriwal said.
The AAP leader added that RIL had also conceded before the High Court that by even selling gas at $ 2.34, it would get a good profit.
“At that time the exchange rate for dollar was Rs. 47.4.
This means the RIL was to get around Rs. 111 from NTPC for per unit of gas sold. And it had itself conceded that it was getting profit even at that rate.
“Today the exchange rate for dollar is Rs. 60.2. This means that at today’s rate the RIL is getting Rs 252.8 per unit. It’s not difficult to comprehend that if the RIL was making a good profit in 2009 by selling gas at Rs 110.9 per unit, taking into account even the rate of inflation today, how much profit the RIL is making by getting a rate of Rs. 252.8 per unit,” the letter said.