By Siddharth SharmaNew Delhi [India], January 24 (ANI): Attacking Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led Central government over the rise of petrol and diesel price, the Congress party on Sunday alleged that excise duty on diesel has been hiked by 820 per cent and 258 per cent on petrol in the last six years.
The party has demanded an explanation of how exactly has the government spent Rs 20 lakh crore that it "collected by multiple hikes in excise duty on both petrol and diesel" in last six years.
Excise duty is a form of tax imposed on goods for their production, licensing and sale.
While addressing a press conference here, Congress General Secretary Ajay Maken said, "Today, in Delhi, the petrol prices have reached an all-time high of Rs 85.70 a litre. Diesel has reached Rs 75.88 litre and what is more shocking is the fact that during the Congress' regime, when UPA left power in May 2014, the international crude oil prices were 108 dollars per barrel. It has come down to all most half, which is 55.52 dollar per barrel and despite the crude oil prices have fallen to almost half, the petrol and diesel prices have surprisingly gone up.""The sole reason for an increase in petrol and diesel prices is that the central government has increased the excise duty on diesel by 8 times and on petrol by 2-1/2 times. The additional excise burden to the common man, to the consumer, is Rs 23.78 per litre on petrol and Rs 28.37 per litre on diesel, which is 820 per cent to be precise on diesel and 258 per cent to be precise on petrol. This is the increase in excise duty on diesel and petrol because of which the burden has fallen on the common consumer," he said.
Maken alleged that the central government has earned more than Rs 20 lakh crore from this "additional" excise tax and if the "Central government reduces the additional excise, withdraws the additional excise, which it has changed in the last six years, the petrol prices will fall down to Rs 61.92 and diesel price will fall down to Rs 47.51.""The Central Government has collected through petrol and diesel excise more than 20 lakh crore rupees in the last 6 years. So, where this huge amount has gone? Our Jawans, our government employees, their DA is being cut. Our small entrepreneurs, our MSMEs, they are continuously under pressure from the bank to repay the loans and they are continuously under the pressure of the taxation authorities. There is huge unemployment across the country. The farmers are committing suicide, so where has this amount of more than Rs 20 lakh crore has gone?" he asked.
"First of all, it should reduce the increase in excise on petrol and diesel, secondly, the Congress Party wants to know where the Rs 20 lakh crore, which the central government has collected from the excise duty hike of diesel and petrol, where that money has gone?" he asked.
Commenting upon the price in LPG, he said, "As far as the LPG is concerned, I would like to remind you that during our time we used to give 12 cylinders as subsidized for LPG that almost stands withdrawn. At the moment, the LPG in the open market is around Rs 700 per cylinder, whereas LPG in the open market without subsidy during our time again as I have said 12 cylinders per year, the subsidized rate were much lower, the subsidized LPG cylinder has gone up from Rs 414 per cylinder to Rs 700." (ANI)