Says UPA has delivered a bonanza to oil firms at the cost of the ‘aam aadmi'
The All India Democratic Women's Association (AIDWA) has condemned the hike in the price of LPG cylinders by Rs.50, kerosene by Rs.2 a litre and diesel by Rs.3 a litre by the government.
It has simultaneously delivered a bonanza to oil firms through tax cuts, revealing its bias in favour of the ‘khas aadmi,' and against the ‘aam aadmi,' a statement issued by AIDWA said here on Saturday.
“Coming in the backdrop of backbreaking price rise of other essential commodities and an inflation rate of over 9 per cent, this hike will contribute further to the miseries of the people. It will have a cascading effect on the prices of food and other essential commodities. Household budgets will shrink further, and women will have to bear the brunt of the financial crunch,” it said.
It is utterly “shameful and shocking” that Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, who headed an Empowered Group of Ministers on this matter, “has described this hike as ‘modest' and expressed the hope that State governments would reduce their taxes to provide relief to consumers. “It is clear that the Finance Minister's measures for addressing under-recoveries are motivated by faulty fiscal policies,” the AIDWA said.
“In times when the Union government stands exposed on corruption and has facilitated the siphoning off of people's money worth crores through its faulty policies, this additional burden on the people is no less than rubbing salt to the wounds,” the statement said, adding that a recent Comptroller and Auditor General's report has revealed that the same government has walked the extra mile to ensure unwarranted gains for Reliance Industries Limited in the Krishna Godavari basin. “It is clear that the government is continuing with its neoliberal approach of benefiting corporate and private profiteers, rather than safeguarding the interest of its people,” the AIDWA said, while demanding withdrawal of the hike forthwith, restructuring of taxes on petroleum products and doing away with ad valorem taxes.