Sunday, 18 November, 2018

Congress-led Bharat bandh fuels Opposition fire against Centre

Petrol and Diesel prices go up again Check out rates on September 8 in metro cities Increasing Continuously Fuel prices reach new high
Lloyd Bates | 11 September, 2018, 12:25

According to petroleum dealers in the State, compared to Friday's price, petrol on Saturday cost 41 paise more while diesel price rose 48 paise a litre. The price in other metros are: Delhi - Rs 80.73; Chennai - Rs 83.91; and Kolkata - Rs 83.61.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley remained evasive on the issue of cutting down excise duty to cushion the spiralling petrol and diesel prices, adding that global oil prices are volatile and have not shown any linear movement.

While in Tamil Nadu, the strength of MTC and other state-run buses were affected as the trade unions affiliated to the opposition DMK and Left parties had yesterday announced that workers attached to their unions will not report to work. Train services were hit in Odisha during the "Bharat bandh" call.

Rahul Gandhi, who led the Opposition protests from Rajghat, said: "Narendra Modi used to roam the country and say, the prices of fuel are rising".

The fuel rates have been on fire since mid-August, rising nearly every day due to a drop in rupee value and rise in crude oil rates.

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The Congress party, along with other Opposition parties, had called a nationwide strike across the country on Monday to protest against fuel price hike and the falling value of the rupee against United States dollar. Because the price is built up by excessive taxes on petrol and diesel.

TDP had opposed the demand of the opposition parties to bring the fuel products under the ambit of GST, claiming that fuel products were among the major contributors of tax revenues for the states. Also in attendance were former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi.

Meanwhile, the BJP said the hike in fuel prices was a "momentary difficulty" and claimed the shutdown was a complete failure.

Apart from a 25 per cent Value Added Tax (VAT) on petrol (and 21 per cent on diesel), the Maharashtra government has also introduced Rs 9 and Rs 1 as various cess on petrol and diesel respectively. "Diesel, petrol price rise is out of our hands because oil-producing countries have limited production", Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said. Same is the case with diesel price in Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Rajasthan, where the sales tax on diesel is higher than in Kerala.

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