Congress holds nationwide protests against rising fuel prices, demands rollback of excise duty hike on petrol, diesel

NEW DELHI: The Congress party is holding a nationwide protest against spiralling fuel prices and have demanded the Centre to immediately roll back the hike in excise duty on petrol and diesel.

The main opposition party also demanded that fuel should come under the purview of the Goods and Services Tax (GST). According to reports, state and national level leaders of Congress, office-bearers and workers have been staging protests in Karnataka, Delhi, Punjab and other parts of the country over the fuel price hike.



“When UPA was in power, tax on petrol & diesel was Rs 9.20. Now it is Rs 32. We demand complete rollback of excise duty hike on petrol-diesel. Fuel should come under the purview of GST,” Congress leader KC Venugopal said.



Expressing concern over petrol price touching Rs 100 per litre in Karnataka, the Congress state unit began a protest again the steep hike in fuel rates under the leadership of state chief DK Shivakumar.



“Hundreds of our party leaders, lawmakers and cadres will stage protests at about 5,000 petrol stations in cities and towns across the state from Friday against the soaring fuel prices,” Shivakumar had earlier said. The 5-day protest will be held under the “100 not out campaign” in all 30 districts of the state.

In Bengaluru, senior leaders, including former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, Shivakumar, Ramalinga Reddy and others are staging a protest at the Mahatma Gandhi statute in the Vidhana Soudha complex.

“The BJP government at the Centre and in the state have betrayed the common man by increasing the retail price of petrol and diesel almost on every other day,” Siddaramaiah said.

State-run oil marketing firms have cumulatively increased retail price of petrol by Rs 25.72 per litre and diesel by Rs 23.93 per litre over the weeks amid the pandemic`s second wave across the country.

Members of the opposition party`s frontal wings, including Youth Congress, Mahila Congress, Kisan Congress, National Student Union of India (NSUI), and Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC) have extended their support to the protest.

Shivakumar noted that the NDA government has increased fuel prices 48 times over the last 5 months, including 10 times in January, 16 times in February and May and 6 times in the first 9 days of June.

Fuel prices rise again across the country; petrol costs Rs 102/litre in Mumbai. The common man continues to face the heat from rising fuel prices as oil marketing companies once again decided to pass on the rise in global oil rates to consumers on Friday.

Accordingly, retail price of petrol and diesel got dearer by 29 paisa per litre and 28 paisa per litre to touch new high of Rs 95.85 and Rs 86.75 per litre respectively in Delhi.

In the city of Mumbai, where petrol prices crossed Rs 100 mark for the first time ever on May 29, the fuel price reached new high of Rs 102.04 per litre on Friday.

Diesel prices also increased in the city to reach Rs 94.15 a litre, the highest among metros.

Across the country, petrol and diesel prices increased between 26-32 paisa per litre on Friday but its retail prices varied depending on the level of local taxes in different states.

Sri Ganganagar, a small city in northernmost part of Rajasthan near the India-Pakistan border is all set to get the dubious distinction of becoming the first city in the country where retail prices of both auto fuels – petrol and diesel – will be hitting the century mark.

The city already has the distinction of having the highest pump price of petrol across the country at Rs 106.95 a litre. With diesel prices now increasing there by another 30 paisa per litre on Friday to reach Rs 99.81 a litre, the city is just a day away to hit a century mark for this fuel class as well.

With Friday`s price hike, fuel prices have now increased on 22 days and remained unchanged on 20 days since May 1. The 22 increases have taken up petrol prices by Rs 5.45 per litre in Delhi. Similarly, diesel have increased by Rs 6.03 per litre in the national capital.

With global crude prices also rising on a pickup demand and depleting inventories of world’s largest fuel guzzler – US, retail prices of fuel in India is expected to firm up further in coming days.

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