Telangana

Congress defends oil bonds, says it kept inflation under control

Congress MP Deepender Singh Hooda has ridiculed the Modi government’s efforts to blame the Congress on Oil Bonds saying the bonds' interest was just ₹7,000 crores annually while the government was earning Rs. 4.53 lakh crores on fuel taxes.

He said the Oil Bonds issued by the UPA government protected the Indians from the huge international fuel prices thus keeping the inflation in control but the BJP government was trying to divert their ‘fleecing’ of people raising oil bonds issue, he said at a press conference here on Thursday.

Mr. Hooda was here as a part of the Congress party’s nationwide campaign to expose the government on the increasing prices of oil, cooking gas and food items. He addressed the media along with TPCC president, A. Revanth Reddy, TPCC Campaign Committee chairman, Madhu Yaskhi, TPCC working presidents Mohd. Azharuddin, J, Geeta Reddy, Anjan Kumar Yadav and Mahesh Kumar Goud, and senior leaders Damodar Rajnarsimha and Shabbir Ali.

The Rajya Sabha member said the Modi government increased the fuel prices a record 66 times earning ₹25 lakh crore but did not spare the common man when their incomes had fallen due to the Pandemic.

In 2014 when the UPA gave up power, the excise duty on petrol was ₹9.48 per litre and it has increased to ₹41.90 now, he said adding that the excise duty on Diesel was ₹3.56 per litre and it is ₹31.80 now. Despite the crude oil prices in the international market falling by over 50% the Modi government went on increasing the fuel prices, he claimed.

Ridiculing the Make in India slogan of the government, he said the crude oil production in India was 23.04% of the domestic needs while it has reduced to 15.08%. This was directly related to the ditching of the Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) like the ONGC where the capital is reduced thus hitting its exploration activities.

Mr. Hooda said the unemployment rate was 8.1% and it was the highest in the last 70 years according to the Centre of Indian Monitoring Economy report and even the NSSO reports also reflected the same. HE also claimed the economic growth in the country had hit a downward trend much before the pandemic.

‘Pandemic response poor’

Mr. Hooda said the Union government’s response to the pandemic was poor. While other countries were putting money in people’s hands the Modi government was snatching through high fuel prices and loss of jobs. The ₹20 lakh crore package announced by the Prime Minister remained on paper and the beneficiaries were nowhere seen. However, fleecing of people continued with unprecedented collections from people who were already battered with job losses and poor economic growth.

The Congress MP said during the UPA regime 27 crore people were brought above the Below Poverty Line (BPL) but once Mr. Modi took over 23 crore people were back in the BPL level. “We believed in inclusive growth and that was the difference.”

‘Criticism against Congress ridiculous’

Mr. Hooda rejected the arguments that Congress had failed to raise these issues effectively thus losing the people’s support. He said Congress had been raising these issues both inside the Parliament and outside. But media has been deliberately playing out the government’s version more than the opposition’s voice. Mr. Madhu Yaskhi said Rahul Gandhi was the first one to raise these issues but the government always ignored his appeals and suggestions.

‘KCR and Modi together’

Mr. Revanth Reddy said the KCR government was collecting ₹32 as tax per litre of petrol out of the ₹105. Though the actual cost of petrol was ₹40 the Centre was collecting ₹32 and KCR government was earning ₹32 per litre.

Mr. Reddy said a Chalo Raj Bhavan call has been given against the rising prices on July 16. If the police try to foil it we will call for a Jail Bharo programme, he said adding that the Chalo Raj Bhavan would be on irrespective of the police permission.


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Printable version | Sep 27, 2021 9:53:54 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/telangana/congress-defends-oil-bonds-says-it-kept-inflation-under-control/article35342084.ece

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