Centre, State looting public by hiking fuel prices: Sudhakaran

UDF MPs led by KPCC president K. Sudhakaran stage a protest in front of Raj Bhavan in Thiruvananthapuram on Monday against the rising fuel prices.  

Dubbing the Narendra Modi-led Central government a fascist dispensation, Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president-designate K. Sudhakaran, MP, has accused both the Union and State governments of looting the country by hiking the prices of petroleum products.

He was inaugurating a demonstration organised by United Democratic Front (UDF) Parliamentarians in front of the Raj Bhavan on Monday to protest against the price rise.

The Congress leader blamed the governments for failing to adopt a ‘pro-people stance’ similar to the one taken by the then Manmohan Singh-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government when petrol price was regulated at ₹50 though crude oil traded at $132 a barrel. Now, the fuel price had crossed ₹100, despite crude oil price falling to $72 a barrel.

Currently, the base prices of petrol and diesel were ₹34.19 a litre and ₹36.22 a litre respectively. However, the public had been paying thrice the amount in the open market. The Centre levied excise duties of ₹32.90 for diesel and ₹31.80 for petrol, much higher than the rates of ₹9.48 and ₹3.56 respectively that were levied during the UPA regime.

Rejects claims

Mr. Sudhakaran said there were inconsistencies in the Centre’s claim of expending the profits gained through the petroleum price hike for COVID-19 management. The hollowness of such claims could be understood by comparing such gains with the funds utilised to procure vaccines.

Taking potshots at the Left Democratic Front (LDF) government, he said the United Democratic Front (UDF) government led by Oommen Chandy had foregone an amount of ₹619.17 crore that could have gone to the State exchequer by way of four tax hikes.

Parliamentarians Kodikkunnil Suresh, K. Muraleedharan, Anto Antony, Benny Behanan, Rajmohan Unnithan, Adoor Prakash, Dean Kuriakose, Remya Haridas, E.T. Mohammed Basheer and M.P. Abdussamad Samadani, and District Congress Committee president Neyyattinkara Sanal were among those who participated in the agitation.

The leaders also petitioned Governor Arif Mohammed Khan on the issue.

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Printable version | Aug 1, 2021 11:12:02 AM |

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