New Delhi [India], February 19 (ANI): Terming the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) as 'Bhayankar Janloot Party', Congress leader Randeep Singh Surjewala on Friday accused the Centre of looting the citizens by hiking fuel prices when the cost of crude oil across the world continues to drop.
"The petrol diesel tax dependent-Modi government has become a curse for the people of the country. From May 2014 till now, the Modi government has looted the people to the tune of Rs 21,50,000 crores by applying taxes on petrol and diesel. The new name of the BJP is 'Bhayankar Janloot Party'. The prices of petrol and diesel have been increasing for 11 consecutive days," said the Congress leader while addressing a press conference on Friday.
He further said, "From May 1, 2019, to date, there has been a surge in petrol prices by Rs 15.21 per litre and diesel prices by Rs 15.33 per litre. Since the aforementioned date, the Modi government has increased the prices by more than 200 times now."Citing an official press release, Surjewala informed that on May 26, 2014, after the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government came into power, the price of crude oil was USD 108 per barrel. He further said that today, the price of crude oil is USD 63.65 per barrel.
"In 2014, petrol was priced at Rs 71.51 per litre. But when the prices of crude oil reduced to 63 dollars per barrel as of today, the petrol price in Delhi is Rs 90.19 and Rs 100 across other parts of the country. This implies that crude oil prices came down by 41 per cent and petrol prices in India rose by 26 per cent," he said.
He also mentioned that in 2014, diesel was priced at Rs 57.28 per litre but today it costs Rs 80.60 per litre in Delhi and Rs 90 in the rest of the country which implies that when crude oil prices dropped by 41 per cent, diesel prices in India increased by 40 per cent.
Surjewala said, "As per today's crude oil price, the petrol price ideally should be Rs 32.73 per litre and diesel price should be Rs 33.46 per litre. This is not what we are saying but in accordance with the figures of the base price and taxes released by the Indian Oil Corporation (IOC). The last figures released by them was on February 16, 2019, after which the prices further increase by 90 paise."Asking the Prime Minister the reason behind selling petrol priced at Rs 32 as Rs 90 and diesel costing Rs 33 as Rs 80-90, Surjewala explained that since the Modi government has imposed excise duty of 820 per cent on diesel and that of 258 per cent on petrol, the prices have sharply increased.
He further stated that the Centre is looting the taxpayers, adding that on one hand there is inflation and on the other petrol and diesel prices are shooting up. In many states of the country, petrol prices have crossed Rs 100 and diesel prices have gone beyond Rs 90. This is why the common man has given one slogan for the present government which is 'Hum Do Hamare Do'.
"It is shameful that even after the Centre has repeatedly imposed taxes on petrol and diesel, the prime minister wants to do away with these allegations by passing the blame onto the Congress," he added.
Stating further, Surjewala remarked, "Surprisingly, between May 2014 and February 2021, with the imposition of hiked excise duty, and the total amount that Modi ji has looted from the common citizen including the middle-class, the farmers, the poor and those who ride scooters, tractors and cars, is Rs 21,50,000 crores."The Modi government in its recent budget mentioned that the Central government has earned Rs 3,46,000 crore from taxes on petrol-diesel alone, and they further aim to earn an estimated sum of Rs 4,00,000 crore from the pockets of 130 crore people of this country in the current financial year, alleged the Congress leader.
He said further, "The Prime Minister says that previous governments did not produce crude oil, but according to the data, the domestic crude oil produced under the BJP government annually dropped by 53,66,000 crore metric tonne, according to the official figures of various companies."Citing the figures of the Government of India, he stated that during United Progressive Alliance (UPA)-I and UPA-II, the production of domestic crude oil was 23.4 per cent of the total production.
"23.5 per cent of the total production was produced in our country. But after Modi ji came to power the percentage fell to 15.8 per cent. This implies that if we were producing 23.5 litres of oil at home then that has dropped to 15.5 litres now," he said.
"The percentage of crude oil production is the lowest in the past 18 years. Will Modi ji answer?" he questioned.
The Congress leader also informed that 63 per cent of the country's crude oil is produced by the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) and the rest by the private sector, adding that the Modi government has cut the budget of the ONGC this year.
Surjewala further added, "A bankrupt Gujarat company namely Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation and many other such companies were sold to ONGC which was later forced to take a loan of Rs 25,000 crores. When we left power, the budget of ONGC was 11,700 crore, Modi ji reduced this by 63 per cent and its budget was reduced to Rs 4,330 crores in 2020. The PM talks a lot but never tells the truth.""The Congress, therefore, demands that the Centre stops looting the public in the name of oil and provides relief to the people by slashing the prices of petrol and diesel," he said in his concluding remarks. (ANI)