The Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) has issued the following statement:
Protest Against Oil Price Hike
The Polit Bureau of the CPI(M) regards the increase in the prices of petrol and diesel as unjustifiable. The increase of Rs. 3 for petrol and Rs 2 for diesel per litre comes less than three months after the last increase in June.
The Rs 2 increase in diesel price will badly hit the farmers and push up transportation costs which will affect the prices of all commodities.
Keeping in mind the continuous increase in international oil prices and in order to cut the losses of the public sector oil companies, the CPI(M) had demanded that the government give up the increase in customs duty and also forego the increase in excise duty due to the higher prices. It had also demanded that the duty free benefits for exports be suspended and withdraw the sales tax concessions to private refineries. The road cess increase of 50 paise per litre should also have been suspended. If all these steps had been taken the loss suffered by the oil companies could have been checked and the burden not passed on, mainly to the consumer.
The taxation policy of the government on petroleum products must be immediately reviewed and there should be a stop to adding to the burdens on the people.
In protest against these burdens being imposed on the people, the Polit Bureau calls upon all its units to mobilise the people and immediately organise protests.