Rahul Gandhi jabs PM Modi: ‘Our genius hiked fuel excise duty’

Asked PM Modi to pass benefit of oil price crash, but 'genius' hiked fuel excise duty: Rahul Gandhi

Rahul Gandhi said his advice to pass on the benefit of the global oil price crash to Indian consumers was ignored by the Centre. (File)

Taking a dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi Sunday said his advice to pass on the benefit of the global oil price crash to Indian consumers was ignored and instead "our genius" had hiked the excise duties on both diesel and petrol.

Taking to Twitter, Rahul also tagged a video in which Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman is purportedly seen avoiding a reporter's question over the crash in global oil prices.

"Just three days ago I had requested PMO India to pass on the benefit of the global oil price crash to Indian consumers, by slashing the prices of petrol and diesel in India. Instead of heeding this advice, our genius has gone and hiked excise duty on fuel!", Gandhi tweeted.

Rahul Gandhi's comment comes a day after the government announced a Rs 3 per litre hike in excise duties on both diesel and petrol in an attempt to mop up more revenues. This comes amid falling demand on the back of the coronavirus outbreak and price wars between oil supplying countries bringing down retail fuel prices by about Rs 5 per litre since the beginning of the year.

A government notification said that the special excise duty on petrol was hiked by Rs 2 per litre to Rs 10 per litre and to Rs 4 per litre for diesel. Road cess on both petrol and diesel has also been increased by Re 1 per litre to Rs 10 per litre, the notification added.

Earlier this week, Rahul Gandhi pointed out the high petrol prices in the country despite the 35 per cent crash in global oil prices. He said Prime Minister Narendra Modi might have “missed noticing” this while “busy destabilising an elected Congress government”.

Rahul said the Centre should pass on the benefits of the global oil crash to Indians by slashing petrol prices to under Rs 60/litre. The price of petrol in New Delhi was Rs 70.20/litre, and Rs 75.99/litre in Mumbai.