As many as 28 organisations in the city have supported the Bharat Bandh called by the Congress on September 10 to protest against the rising fuel prices, according to Ivan D’Souza, MLC.
Addressing a press conference here on Friday he said prices of petrol and diesel in the city have now touched Rs. 82.11 and Rs. 75.12 a litre, respectively, while the crude prices stood at $63 a barrel. When the crude prices stood at $108.26 a barrel in 2014, petrol and diesel cost Rs. 65 and Rs. 48, respectively.
The cooking gas price has touched Rs. 813 a cylinder from Rs. 400 a cylinder in 2014.
The MLC said the Union government should bring petroleum products within the Goods and Services Tax (GST) ambit to check the increasing fuel prices. If it does so, fuel prices will come down by Rs. 20 to Rs. 22 a litre as the maximum tax slab which could be imposed under the GST would be 28%, he said.
The MLC said that the taxes on fuel now constituted about 55%, including 30% central excise duty and 22% Value Added Tax. The BJP rules 21 States now and the GST Council is dominated by the BJP-ruled State representatives. Why then is it was not taking the lead to bring the petroleum products under GST, he asked.
Mr. D’Souza alleged that the National Democratic Alliance government and BJP leaders were behind satisfying the corporate sector and its leaders.
Bus and autorickshaw workers’, drivers’ and owners’ associations, maxi cab owners’ and drivers’ associations, Forum For Justice, beedi workers’ associations and various labour unions have supported the bandh, he said.
A procession would be taken out in the city from Hampankatta Circle to the office of Deputy Commissioner on Monday at 10 a.m. and a protest meeting would be held to oppose the hike. Various organisations which have supported the bandh will hold awareness programmes at 10 places in the city on Friday and Saturday, as a prelude to the bandh,the MLC added.