The Left Parties – the Communist Party of India (Marxist), Communist Party of India, Revolutionary Socialist Party and the Forward Bloc – have issued the following statement:
Oppose Oil Price Hike
All India Protest Day
The Left parties strongly oppose the increase in the prices of petroleum products announced by the government. By this hike petrol has been increased by Rs. 2.50 per litre and diesel by Rs. 2 per litre. This price hike comes in the wake of three price hikes in petroleum products in the past one year. This has imposed an added burden on the people. It will affect the farmers and increase the cost of living for those who rely on transportation for pursuing their daily work and activities. The price increase in diesel in particular will be inflationary and have an cascading effect on prices of all commodities.
The government’s justification for this price increase is misplaced. While it is true that international oil prices have been rising, the government in the budget itself changed excise duties which led to an added burden of Rs. 1.70 per litre for petrol and Rs. 1.15 per litre for diesel. The road cess of Rs. 1.50 has been increased by 50 paise to Rs. 2.00
The Left parties had given alternative proposals on how to avert the price hike.
a) cancelling of additional cess of 50 paise per litre for highways, b) change in excise duty so that it does not lead to retail price hike, c) doing away with import parity in product price, d) formation of price stabilisation fund to meet the fluctuation of global crude price with the cess collected on indigenous crude amounting to Rs. 5400 crore per annum, and e) review of duty draw back payment to exporters of petroleum products by private refineries.
It is unfortunate that the government has not taken up these proposals to avert the price hike. The Left parties while firmly opposing the increase have decided to mobilise the people and launch a vigorous protest all over the country.
We call upon the people all over the country to join together to register their strong protest by coming out into the streets and demonstrate their opposition on June 28th.
The Left parties call upon the government to reverse their decision and take the measures which can absorb the burden of the increased international oil prices.