Other States

Rising fuel prices have hit farmers: Hooda

Hitting out at the BJP-led governments at the Centre and in Haryana over fuel price rise, former Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda on Thursday said the steady rise in fuel prices, especially diesel, had broken the backbone of the farming community, already under financial distress.

“Farmers have been hit the hardest as they are dependent on diesel for irrigation and transport. Besides, petroleum prices have a direct co-relation with inflation and when fuel prices rise, then the cost of transport fares and production is bound to become expensive and this will start an inflationary cycle in the economy,” said Mr. Hooda, Leader of the Opposition.

Congress’ regime

Mr. Hooda said that during the Congress’s regime, people from other States also liked to purchase petrol and diesel from Haryana as it was cheaper than neighbouring States. “This was because we kept VAT on petroleum products at 9%, which has doubled in the BJP rule. In just past 19 days, the price of petrol has increased by ₹8.66 and diesel by ₹10.62. Earlier, on May 5, the Central government increased excise duty on petrol by ₹10 and on diesel by ₹13 per litre,” he said.

The former Chief Minister demanded that the prices of petrol, diesel and LPG be brought down to the level of August 2004. “I say this because the price of crude oil currently is still close to $40 per barrel, somewhat similar like in August 2004, In August 2004, petrol was ₹36.81, diesel was ₹24.16 per litre and LPG cylinder was ₹261.60. But today petrol-diesel is being sold for around ₹80 and the cylinder for around ₹600,” he said.

Opposing the arbitrary hike in rates of petroleum products, Mr. Hooda demanded a cut in both VAT charged by the State government and the excise duty charged by the Centre to provide relief to the general public.

“In times of pandemics and recession, the government is trying to hurt people with inflation instead of giving them relief,” he said.

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Printable version | Aug 11, 2020 1:15:20 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/rising-fuel-prices-have-hit-farmers-hooda/article31919372.ece

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