Jammu- The Congress’ Jammu and Kashmir unit on Monday slammed the Centre over the rise in prices of petrol and diesel, saying the government is “profiteering” at the expense of people.
Members of the party also staged a protest at the Tallab Tillo Chowk here against the BJP-led central government over the issue and demanded immediate rollback of the hike in the fuels’ prices.
Petrol and diesel prices on Monday were hiked for the seventh day in a row as a rally in international oil prices took retail rates in India to new highs.
Petrol price was increased by 26 paise per litre and diesel by 29 paise, according to a price notification of state-owned fuel retailers.
Attacking the Centre over the frequent rise in petrol, diesel and gas prices, Jammu and Kashmir Congress vice president Raman Bhalla accused the government of extortion. While the people are suffering due to inflation, the government is busy in tax collection, said Bhalla, who is leading the party’s ‘Speak Up Against Fuel Hike’ campaign here.
“The government is profiteering at the expense of the people, he said, claiming that the Narendra Modi government has increased excise duty on diesel and petrol prices 14 times since 2014.
“Since 2014, instead of giving the benefit of a decrease in the price of petrol and diesel in the international market, the Modi government has increased excise duty 14 times and collected Rs 18 lakh crore,” he claimed.
Bhalla demanded that the Centre roll back the rise in excise duty on petrol.
“This will provide a big relief in this period of economic crisis,” he said.
A Congress spokesman claimed that police did not allow the party to take out a rally from the protest site to the office of the Jammu deputy commissioner to submit a memorandum against the price hikes.
However, an official said the protest ended peacefully.
Another senior Congress leader and former minister Yogesh Sawhney said the petrol and diesel prices are hitting record highs every day and the government is not taking any steps to relieve the people from this stress.
They are showing their hypocrisy by not taking any action while they were the same people who had pointed fingers at the Congress government for the same reason, but prices were much lower then. For them, fuel is a cash machine. They are not ready to give up as it brings them high revenues, he said.
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