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Congress to protest fuel price hike

Ajay Maken

Ajay Maken   | Photo Credit: PTI

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Centre ‘looting’ common people and ‘profiteering’ at their expense: Maken

The Congress on Friday said it would launch a nationwide agitation on September 20 against the “brazen increase” in excise duty on petrol and diesel, leading to a steep hike in their prices.

“The Congress will launch a nationwide agitation against this burdening of the common man with increased taxes and flooding the coffers of the government,” senior party spokesperson Ajay Maken said.

‘Draconian’ taxation

Stressing that his party would continue its fight until this “draconian taxation regime” ended, he accused the Modi government of “looting” the common people and “profiteering” at their expense. For every ₹100 a customer paid for petrol, ₹51.78 was the tax component, while for every ₹100 worth of diesel, the corresponding tax was ₹44.40, he said.

He said the way prices were rising and taxes were being imposed on petroleum products and other items while the economy continued to plummet “puts a question mark on the working of this government”.

VAT hike

Targeting the Arvind Kejriwal government in Delhi as well, he said it had increased VAT on petrol twice by making amendments in the law, while the BJP-led Central government had burdened the common man by raising taxes on petroleum products.

The Modi government, Mr. Maken said, had given absurd reasons such as Hurricanes Harvey and Irma for the increase in petrol and diesel prices, and dealt a “devastating blow” to common people by increasing the excise duty 11 times in the past three-and-a-half years.

Demanding a White Paper on taxes imposed on petroleum products and the gains made by the government, Mr. Maken said the Congress’s countrywide agitation would start from the national capital.

Signature campaign

Ahead of the protest at Delhi’s Jantar Mantar on September 20, Mr. Maken said the Congress would start a signature campaign at all petrol pumps in the city from September 17.

“Looting people, profiteering at their expense and squeezing their hard earned money is the sole aim of the BJP government. While crude oil prices plummet, petrol-diesel prices skyrocket,” the Congress leader said.

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Printable version | Jan 20, 2020 11:59:34 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/congress-to-protest-fuel-price-hike/article19693882.ece

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