NEW DELHI: The Congress tried to cash in on widespread public anger against rising fuel prices and demanded that petrol be brought under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) to reduce its retail price and provide some relief to the people.
“Our major demand is to bring fuel prices under GST which would imply uniform taxation and simple procedural compliance,” party spokesperson Pawan Khera said.
“There has been an increase of 211.7 per cent in excise on petrol prices and a mind-boggling 433.06 per cent on diesel prices since the BJP came to power in May 2014,” he said.
Khera denied the Congress was playing politics over the issue.
“It is in the DNA of the party to bring out and amplify the voices of the people of India,” he said.
Claiming that the Centre was sitting on a pile of cash as it had saved a whopping `10 lakh crore due to the reduced international crude oil price over the past years, the Congress alleged the government had failed to pass on the benefits to the consumers.
“The people of India— farmers, students, women and all those affected—are hitting the streets,” Khera said.
The Congress said its state units protested over the issue across the country and urged the BJP-ruled states to reduce VAT so that some reprieve could be provided to the people suffering due to high fuel prices, which were pushing up the cost of essential items as well.
Wondering why are the fuel prices in India so high “in comparison to our neighbouring countries, the Congress alleged the Modi government was trying to fool people over the issue. “If you are not able to do it, let us come to power in 2019 and we will show you how to do it,” Khera said.