Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Monday accused the BJP-led government of “profiteering” from petrol and diesel and called for reduction in excise duty on petroleum products.
Gandhi made the remarks in a tweet and also posted a video as part of party’s `Speak Up Against Fuel Hike’ campaign.
“Government should stop profiteering from petrol and diesel, reduce excise rate immediately and reduce the price! SpeakUpAgainstFuelHike,” Gandhi said.
In the video, the former Congress president said there had been an adverse economic impact of coronavirus and unemployment has risen.
“As you all know, coronavirus, unemployment and economic devastation have hit the country like a cyclone. Nobody is spared from this storm. From rich to poor everyone is impacted negatively. Middle class, farmers, labourers are heavily impacted,” he said.
Gandhi said that the Congress has given two suggestions to the Centre to help the people, especially vulnerable sections.
“We suggested that package like NYAY should be given for three months and money sent in their accounts. This will help the poor and middle-class,” he said.
He said the party has also suggested providing financial security to small and medium businesses which provide employment to 40 per cent people “but government helped 15 crony capitalists friends and gave them lakhs and crores of rupees”.
Gandhi said that the BJP-led government has increased petrol and diesel prices for 22 times in the last three months.
“In this way, they have attacked common people 22 times. This affects everyone. With the rise in petrol and diesel prices, prices of everything goes up and this affects everyone indirectly,” he said.
He said crude prices were dropping but prices of petroleum products in India are at an “all-time high”.
“We demand that the government reduce the prices of petrol and diesel,” he said.
The price of petrol on Monday increased to Rs 80.43 (a hike of 5 paise) and that of diesel increased to Rs 80.53 (a hike of 13 paise) in Delhi, a day after there was no change in the rates in the national capital.
Oil marketing companies have been adjusting retail rates in line with costs after an 82-day break from rate revision amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. These firms on June 7 restarted revising prices in line with costs.