-Said, government trying to fill its and corporate houses’ coffers by levying 70 percent tax on petrol
-AAP demands reduction of LPG prices from Centre and VAT-free diesel for farmers from Punjab government
Chandigarh, August 22: The Aam Aadmi Party Punjab senior leader and Leader of Opposition Harpal Singh Cheema criticized the recent hike in LPG cylinder prices, stating that skyrocketing prices due to pro-corporate and anti-people policies of the governments had made life miserable for every section. He said in the last seven years, the Union government had been collecting taxes from petroleum products with a 300 percent increase, yet the continuous rise in prices of diesel, petrol and cooking gas had not stopped.
Cheema said while the Modi government at the Centre was mainly responsible for the uncontrolled prices of diesel, petrol and cooking gas, the Congress government in Punjab had also spared no effort to add fuel to the fire. “As a result, prices of oil, ghee, gas, pulses and other household items are rising day by day,” he added.
In a statement issued from the party headquarters here on Saturday, Harpal Singh Cheema questioned the BJP-led centre government, “Where are those who were protesting against inflation in 2014 with gas cylinders for voting? If a Rs 410 gas cylinder was expensive then, why don’t the BJP leaders talk about Rs 896 cylinder now? Didn’t the BJP people know that two days ago a gas cylinder was directly increased by Rs 25?” Cheema said skyrocketing prices of oil, petrol; gas, ghee and other kitchen items had proved how the ruling governments were robbing the people. He said the Modi government was trying to fill its coffers and that of the corporate houses by levying 70 percent tax on petrol.
Cheema said the excise duty on petrol has tripled to Rs 33 per liter in the Modi government, while the situation with diesel is even worse as the excise duty on diesel is 10 times higher than in 2014 and the current tax is Rs 32 per liter. He said the Modi government had emptied the pockets of the common man by continuously increasing the tax on fuel and increasing the exchequer by 300 percent. The LoP further said that the ruling Congress government of Punjab was no less than the Centre.
Cheema said the Congress government came to power with the promise of reducing inflation and free distribution of ghee, sugar, oil etc, but this government did not reduce the price of any commodity. He said the Congress government in Punjab was levying 35 percent VAT on petrol, which was the highest in the country.He said that 35 percent VAT on diesel was being levied on the farmers in the agriculture-oriented state, which was a testament to the anti-farmer policies of the Congress government. He demanded that the farmers of Punjab along with the country should get VAT-free diesel.
Cheema said he was surprised that when the elections were held in Bengal and other states, the Union government had not slightly increased the prices of household items, including petrol and diesel; but now with the festive season, the prices of every commodity had gone up. “This shows that the BJP government is playing hollow politics in the name of national service,” he added.Taking a dig, Harpal Singh Cheema accused the Modi government of not bringing petrol and diesel under GST, just because of the continuing looting of the common man, as a maximum of 28 percent tax could be levied under GST. He said India is currently getting the most expensive petrol and diesel in all of South Asia. Despite the continuous fall in international crude oil prices for the last seven years, the government is not providing relief to the people, he said.
The AAP leader said that in 2016 when crude oil was at a record low of 29 dollar per liter, the Modi government instead of reducing the prices; increased excise by 54 percent, VAT by 46 percent and dealers’ commission by 73 percent. He said it was proof that this government did not belong to the common people but to big corporate houses.