Sonia Gandhi claimed the Centre was seeking to earn an additional revenue of nearly Rs 2.6 lakh crore “by ill-advised” increase in excise duty and petrol and diesel prices.
In a letter addressed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Congress interim President Sonia Gandhi has slammed the Centre's "insensitive decision" to raise fuel prices amid the coronavirus crisis.
“I am deeply distressed that in these exceedingly difficult times since the beginning of March, the Government has taken the wholly insensitive decision to increase petrol and diesel prices on no less than ten separate occasions,” Gandhi has said.
Gandhi claimed the Centre was seeking to earn an additional revenue of nearly Rs 2.6 lakh crore “by ill-advised” increases in excise duty and prices of petrol of diesel.
On June 16, fuel prices were raised for the tenth consecutive day, with the cost of petrol and diesel raised by 47 paise and 57 paise per litre, respectively. In Delhi, the cost of petrol is Rs 76.73 per litre and the price of diesel is Rs 75.19 per litre.
She added that the government "is doing nothing short of profiteering off its people — when they are down and out" as the international price of crude oil has fallen by around 9 percent over the last week.
The Member of Parliament (MP) also said that she saw “no logic” in why the government would consider such a price hike “at a time when the economic impact of COVID-19 is depriving millions of jobs and livelihood, devastating business big and small, rapidly eroding the income of the middle class, even as farmers are struggling to sow the crop for the Kharif season.”
Gandhi further urged the prime minister to roll back these increases and "pass on the benefit of low oil prices directly" to citizens.Rates have been increased across the country and vary from state to state depending on the incidence of local sales tax or VAT. The rise in diesel rates is the highest daily since the state-owned fuel retailers started daily revision in rates in May 2017.