‘Stop befooling people’: Congress after excise duty cut on petrol, diesel


The Congress on Saturday accused Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman of “befooling” people, after the Centre decided to cut excise duty 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 10 in 60 days and is now “duping” people by reducing it by 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 10/litre and now reduced it by 9.50/litre. … U increased the price of Diesel by 10/litre and now reduced it by 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 9.48/litre on petrol and 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 9.48/litre.

“It is still 19.90 versus 9.48 during the Congress,” he said.

On excise duty on diesel, he said, “It is still 15.80 versus 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 leader Jaiveer Shergill tweeted, “Excise duty over 8 years on Petrol has been increased by 531% & Diesel by 206%; 26 Lac Crore looted from public! Over past 2 months petrol has been increased by 10& today reduced by 9.50. Today’s cut in excise duty does not even qualify as “band-aid” but mere chicanery!”

Noting that it is always “people first” for the BJP-led government, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that the Centre’s decisions, especially the one relating to a significant drop in petrol and diesel prices, will positively impact various sectors, provide relief to citizens and further ‘Ease of Living.’

(With inputs from agencies)

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