The Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) now in session in New Delhi has issued the following statement:
Criminal Hike in Excise Duty on Petrol & Diesel
The Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) strongly condemns the hike in excise duty on petrol and diesel.
When international crude oil prices are falling sharply, the Narendra Modi government, as is its wont, has increased the excise duty on petrol and diesel. This is a criminal assault on people already suffering under economic recession.
The special excise duty on petrol has been hiked by Rs 2 to Rs 8 per litre in case of petrol and to Rs 4 in case of diesel. For every litre of petrol the excise duty is Rs. 22.98 and on diesel it is 18.83. Simultaneously, the road cess on petrol has also been raised by Rs 1 per litre each on petrol and diesel to Rs 10.
While dismantling the Administered Pricing Mechanism, the country was told that the benefits of a fall in crude prices would be passed on the consumers. On the contrary, since the BJP assumed office in 2014, duties on petrol have increased by 142 per cent and on diesel by a whopping 429 per cent.
Confronted with a recession in the economy which has been compounded by the huge health concern that the Corona pandemic has created, it would have been in the fitness of things if the benefit of the fall in prices were passed on to the already overburdened consumer. This, however cannot be expected from a government which is oblivious to the concerns of the common man and is more concerned in promoting the interests of corporates and its cronies.
The Polit Bureau of the CPI(M) calls for the withdrawal of this criminal hike in excise duty of petrol and diesel. Retail prices must be lowered to levels corresponding to the fall in the international prices, i.e. by 30 per cent.