The Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) has issued the following statement:
The Polit Bureau of the CPI(M) strongly condemns the hike in the prices of petrol and diesel once again in a span of a fortnight. The price of petrol has been increased by Rs. 2.5 and diesel Rs. 2.26 per litre. This is the 19th such hike in the prices of diesel and 16th such hike in the price of petrol since the Modi government came into office.
This increased burden on the people is being imposed at a time when this BJP government has indulged in an extravagant celebration of its two years of existence. People are being forced to pay the burden for this wasteful expenditure.
At a time when the agrarian distress is deepening, this huge hike in price of diesel is bound to worsen the crisis. Diesel is the staple fuel used for drawing ground water from tubewells. When major parts of the country are reeling under the impact of a drought and lack of drinking water, this hike will only worsen people’s livelihood threatening their existence.
The government is earning profits through regular hikes in the duties of petroleum products. When petroleum products were deregulated the country was told by this government that the taxes would be reduced to zero. While the oil companies pay Rs. 25.31 per litre of petrol, people pay Rs. 65.60 for the same litre. The difference is reaped by the central government as its revenue. There have been five successive hikes in the excise duties in the past two years. This is unacceptable. The government cannot finance itself by burdening the people while continuing to give tax concessions to the rich.
The P.B. of the CPI(M) calls upon all its units to protest against this hike and imposition of unprecedented economic burdens on the people.