Slash fuel prices proportionate to global crude prices: KTR
K T Rama Rao lashed out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi saying that the Centre was not decreasing the price of fuel prices
K T Rama Rao
HYDERABAD: TRS Working President and IT Minister K T Rama Rao lashed out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP-led Central Government, on Wednesday, saying that the Centre was not decreasing the price of fuel prices in India in spite of the prices of crude oil falling drastically in the world market, which they had claimed to be the reason why the prices were increased.
"If the price of a barrel of crude oil decreases internationally, the people of the country should be benefitted. However, the Modi Government does not want that to happen. That is why the BJP government is increasing excise duties and cesses.
"Since 2014, in these eight years, the Centre, under the leadership of Modi, increased fuel prices so many times and looted more than Rs 26 lakh crore rupees from the people in the form of fuel taxes and cesses and Rs 14 lakh crores in the form of excise.
"The Modi Government is exploiting the common people and serving the corporate. They are too busy serving the interests of the corporates, they do not have any concern towards the sufferings of the poor and the middle classes," the Minister said.
He also said that before coming to power, Modi always criticised the increase of fuel prices and questioned what the Prime Minister had to say, now that he failed in controlling the prices himself.
When the Modi government was formed in 2014, the price of a barrel of crude oil was around USD 110. By January 2016 it had fallen to 27 dollars. In 2020, the price of barrel crude oil was as low as USD 11, due to Covid and lockdown. However, the Centre never reduced fuel prices, KTR said. He also said that according to the statistics provided by central organisations, the first three years of Modi coming to power, between May 2014 and September 2017, the excise duty on petrol increased by 54 percent, while on diesel, it increased by 154 percent.
He said that the Modi-led Centre was mercilessly increasing excise duty when people of the country were financially devastated due to the pandemic. Minister KTR stated that the States got very little income from the excise duty increased by the Centre. The Modi government, with an aim to economically weaken the States, increased the petrol rates mostly in the form of cesses and not in the form of taxes, he added.
KTR said that if the Centre lifted the duty levied on fuel, the public would get a relief of around Rs 30 per liter. KTR expressed his anguish that this was the highest inflation that India witnessed and said with this the conditions of the poor and middle class had completely deteriorated.
KTR said that although the global crude oil price had dropped to 95 dollars per barrel, there is no reduction in fuel rates in India. To provide relief to the people who were having a tough time due to ever increasing inflation, Covid induced lockdown and job losses as a result of the inefficient policies of the Centre, the central government should immediately do away with all types of cesses on petrol and diesel and reduce the prices of petrol, KTR said.