THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: KPCC president M M Hassan made a strong plea for slashing the recently hiked component in fuel prices in the country, maintaining the justification of the NDA Government citing the recent spurt in crude oil prices will not stand.“The intermittent hike in the prices of diesel and petrol by looting the people is for nothing but to amass huge profits for oil companies and the government,” he said in a statement.
He noted that in the last one month alone, the per litre petrol prices were up by more than Rs 2 and diesel costs rose by Rs 8 per litre. “By exploiting the people, oil companies have pocketed Rs 44,637.22 crores in the three-and-half years’ rule of the NDA Government, according to figures availed under RTI,” Hassan criticised, and added it has invariably led to spiralling prices of all essential commodities and a consumer state like Kerala which is dependent on other states is bearing the brunt.
The KPCC president said the root cause of the exorbitant hike in prices of petroleum products in the country is the non-withdrawal of various taxes imposed when the international crude oil prices were on a slump which was clearly aimed at stalling the transfer of benefits from the price fall to consumers. Making a comparison of prices under the present government and its predecessor UPA regime, Hassan said when the international crude oil prices per barrel was ruling at $120, the cost of petrol in the country under Manmohan Singh’s rule was just `50 /litre.’’
The current crude oil barrel rates is $70,but domestic prices of petrol and diesel have peaked to `75 and `67 per litre respectively,” he said.Hassan also made a fervent demand to the state government to forgo the additional sales tax revenue from the price hike, taking cue from the former UDF Government to ease the burden of consumers and arrest price rise of essential commodities.
‘’In 2011-`12, the UDF Government had forgone the entire additional sales tax accrued from the hike in petroleum prices.”He said the soaring fuel prices, while both the Central and state governments have turned their back, will be echoed at the statewide dharna under the aegis of Congress block committees in front of select government offices on Wednesday.