P Chidambaram: Slams Modi Govt

P Chidambaram slammed the Modi government in a series of tweets over the skyrocketing petrol and diesel prices

P Chidambaram slammed the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government in a series of tweets over the skyrocketing diesel and petrol prices.

Chidambaram pointed out the current petrol and diesel prices are higher than the fuel prices in May 2014 despite crude being cheaper than what it was then. He blamed the ruling dispensation’s “Tax the Consumer” policy. Currently, the price payable by the consumer comprises excise duty and VAT which is different for different states.

The Rajya Sabha MP said the BJP government has lived off “an oil bonanza” for the past four years, but is now “clueless and floundering”.

He also criticised the government for refusing to bring petro products under GST.

Diesel prices spiked to an all-time high costing Rs 65.27 in Delhi and Rs 69.50 in Mumbai on Thursday. Prices of diesel and petrol have been on the rise consistently since the Narendra Modi-led government introduced dynamic pricing for fuel in June last year.

Under the scheme, the price of fuel is revised daily on the basis of the global price of crude oil and the rupee/dollar exchange rate.

Earlier, Rahul Gandhi had even accused Narendra Modi of “misinforming people” saying that the middle class is bearing the brunt of rising fuel prices at the behest of the BJP government.

While crude oil prices have been rising in the international market, the Oil Ministry had ruled out a cut in excise duty on petrol and diesel.

However, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced a rejig of duties during his Budget speech in the parliament in February this year. Accordingly, the government cut basic duty of Rs 2 per litre on fuels and abolished additional excise duty of Rs 6 per litre; however it nullified that cut by levying road and infrastructure cess of Rs 8 per litre.

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