The Congress on Saturday accused the Centre of profiteering at the cost of the common man and claimed that it earned ₹2 lakh crore since early March by imposing high taxes on petrol and diesel .
Addressing an online press conference, former Union Law Minister Kapil Sibal said that while international crude oil prices were at the lowest level in 15 years, retail prices of petrol and diesel were going up and the common people were suffering under the Narendra Modi government.
Govt hikes excise duty on petrol by ₹10 per litre, diesel by ₹13 per litre
Instead of passing on the benefit of lower crude prices to consumers, petrol and diesel prices were hiked for the seventh day in a row on Saturday.
“The government earned as much as ₹44,000 crore in the last six days due to hike in petrol, diesel prices. Since March 5, the government has earned as much as ₹2.5 lakh crore by way of increasing petrol, diesel prices.
“If the government had even the slightest feelings for the common man, instead of benefiting the companies and the government, the Prime Minister would have helped the common man with reduced fuel prices,” Mr Sibal said.
The Congress leader also reminded how Mr. Modi used to taunt the UPA government over fuel prices but had been consistently increasing them after coming to power.
According to a report by Care Ratings, he said the hike effectively meant that the Central government was collecting around 270 per cent taxes on the base price of petrol and 256 per cent in case of diesel.
The former Union Minister said petrol was selling at ₹71.41 in Delhi on May 1, 2014, when international crude oil price was $106.85, while on June 12, 2020, the price of petrol was ₹75.16 when the crude oil was at $38.
He said the central excise and VAT cumulatively accounted for 69 per cent of the tax on fuel in India which was higher than anywhere else in the world. “The tax on fuel in the U.S. was 19 per cent, Japan 47 per cent, the U.K. 62 per cent, France 63 per cent and Germany 65 per cent,”he said.