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Cut on fuel excise duty: Stop befooling people, says Congress; Nadda seeks VAT cut by opposition-ruled states

Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said the government had increased the excise duty on petrol by Rs 10 in 60 days and is now 'duping' people by reducing it by Rs 9.50.

Published: 21st May 2022 09:33 PM  |   Last Updated: 21st May 2022 09:33 PM   |  A+A-

BJP president JP Nadda

BJP president JP Nadda (Photo | PTI)

By PTI

NEW DELHI: The Congress on Saturday accused Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman of "befooling'' people after she announced an excise duty cut on petrol and diesel and said people needed relief instead of jugglery of figures.

Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said the government had increased the excise duty on petrol by Rs 10 in 60 days and is now "duping" people by reducing it by Rs 9.50.

The opposition party demanded that the finance minister show courage and roll back excise on petrol and diesel to the level it was under the UPA in May 2014.

"Dear FM. in 60 days, you increased the price of petrol by Rs 10/litre and now reduced it by Rs 9.50/litre. U increased the price of Diesel by Rs 10/litre and now reduced it by Rs 7/litre.

Stop befooling people! "Nation doesn't need jugglery of figures to dupe the people, Nation doesn't need Jumlas, Nation needs rollback of excise on petrol and diesel to May 2014 levels of Rs 9.48/litre on petrol and Rs 3.56/litre on diesel. Stop deceiving, Show the courage to give relief," Surjewala said in a series of tweets.

The Congress leader said in May 2014, excise duty on petrol was Rs 9.48/litre.

"It is still Rs 19.90 versus Rs 9.48 during the Congress," he said.

On excise duty on diesel, he said, "It is still Rs 15.80 versus Rs 3.56 during Congress."

Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot claimed the Centre had to reduce the excise duty under the pressure of the Congress party's public awareness campaign decided in the recently held Chintan Shivir.

He demanded that the central government should lower the petrol and diesel prices to the level during the UPA rule if the government wants to give relief to people in the true sense.

"Due to the continuous protests by the Congress against inflation across the country and the pressure of public awareness campaign against the inflation decided in Navsankalp Shivir, Udaipur, the central government today had to decide to reduce the excise duty on petrol and diesel," Gehlot tweeted.

Congress whip in Lok Sabha Manickam Tagore also attacked the finance minister, accusing her of being "arrogant" and supporting the rich but not the middle class.

The government on Saturday cut excise duty on petrol by a record Rs 8 per litre and that on diesel by Rs 6 per litre to give relief to consumers battered by high fuel prices that have also pushed inflation to a multi-year high.

The excise duty cut will translate into a reduction of Rs 9.5 a litre on petrol and Rs 7 a litre on diesel after taking into account its impact on other levies.

Announcing the duty cut, Sitharaman also said the government will give Rs 200 per cylinder subsidy to Ujjwala Yojana beneficiaries for 12 cylinders in a year to help ease some of the burden arising from cooking gas rates rising to record levels.

BJP president J P Nadda on Saturday lauded as "historic" the government's decision to cut excise duty on petrol and diesel to give relief to people, and demanded that opposition-ruled states also slash taxes for greater public benefit.

In a statement, Nadda said BJP-ruled states had cut Value Added Tax (VAT) on petrol and diesel when the Centre reduced excise duty on petrol by Rs 10 and diesel by Rs 5 in November last year but opposition parties had not done so in their states, something Modi had highlighted in his meeting with chief ministers last month.

Modi had cited fuel prices in different states to highlight the significant gap between those ruled by the BJP and those by non-BJP parties.

The Modi government's decision on Saturday shows as to how sensitive it is to the interests of the common man, Nadda said.

It also shows how it is working to make people's life easier with its proactive and responsive measures, he added.

The BJP president also lauded the government's decision to give a Rs 200 subsidy on every gas cylinder to beneficiaries of the Ujjwala scheme.

The government cut excise duty on petrol by a steep Rs 8 per litre and that on diesel by Rs 6 per litre to give relief to consumers from high fuel prices that have also pushed inflation.



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