New Delhi [India], May 6 (ANI): Congress leader Randeep Singh Surjewala on Wednesday slammed the central government for raising "insurmountable" taxes on petrol and diesel, and termed it "economically anti-national".
"The entire nation and its 130 crore people are fighting the COVID-19 pandemic today. The poor migrant workers and labourers, shopkeepers, farmers, MSMEs are virtually penniless, they are struggling for every single rupee. Yet, this draconian government is fleecing 130 crore Indians by raising insurmountable taxes on petrol and diesel," Surjewala said.
"In times of this COVID-19 pandemic as also the economic crisis that prevails across India, to fleece people of India in this fashion is economically anti-national. The manner and fashion in which the illegal and forcible recovery is being made from people of India is an example in itself which has shocked the conscience of each one of us," he added.
Surjewala said that on March 14, Centre increased tax on petrol and diesel by Rs 3 per litre.
"Yesterday again, taxes on petrol was raised by Rs 10/litre and on diesel by Rs 13/litre," he said and added that "in 48 days, the central government has increased tax on diesel by Rs 16 per litre and on petrol by Rs 13 per litre."
The Congress leader stated that this increase by itself will lead to a recovery of Rs 1 lakh 40 thousand crore annually from people of India.
"Will anybody explain the logic and rationale behind this? On May 26, 2014, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi assumed power, the PIB press release of that day reflects that the oil basket price of Indian oil companies was USD 108 or Rs 6,330 which means the oil per litre was costing Rs 39.81," Surjewala.
"On May 4, 2020 oil basket for Indian oil companies is USD 23.38 per barrel or Rs 1,772. Cost today is Rs 11.14 per litre. Will Prime Minister Modi and his government explain why oil, that is costing Rs 11.14 per litre in India, is being sold at Rs 71.26 for petrol and Rs 69.39 for diesel," he added.
Surjewala said that in five and a half years of being in power, Prime Minister Modi has "increased tax on diesel by Rs 28.17 per litre and increased taxes on petrol by Rs 23.50 per litre."
"Who is profiteering from this insurmountable and inhumane taxation? Between 2014-15 and up till the year 2019-20, in a period of 6 years, Union BJP government has increased taxes on petrol and diesel 12 times and collected Rs 17 lakh crores. Where has this money gone? We ask Prime Minister Modi to come forward and answer these questions," he stated. (ANI)