New Delhi, October 8: The Congress Monday termed the recent reduction in petrol and diesel prices as a mere "jumla" (rhetoric) and said the "loot" of the Modi government has been continuing unabated even during the festival season.
The opposition party alleged that "looting" people's pockets through taxes on petrol and diesel has become the primary duty of the BJP-led government and reiterated its demand for bringing petrol and diesel under the ambit of the Goods and Services Tax (GST).
"The Modi government is continuously looting the public on petrol and diesel. Looting people's pockets is the primary duty of the BJP. In the last three days, prices of petrol have risen by 53 paisa and diesel by 87 paisa in Delhi. The loot of Modi government is continuing unabated during the festivals," Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said on Twitter.
Petrol and diesel prices were cut by a minimum Rs 2.50 on October 5 when the government's only second cut in excise duty of Rs 1.50 per litre and state-owned fuel retailers providing a Re 1 per litre subsidy came into effect. Fuel Rates Today: Petrol And Diesel Increase by 18 Paise and 29 Paise Respectively in Delhi, Petrol Price Above Rs 87 in Mumbai.
Congress spokesperson Priyanka Chaturvedi said Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced a reduction of Rs 1.50 in excise duties on petrol and diesel, but rise in prices of petrol and diesel subsequent to it clearly shows that fuel price reduction has turned out to be a mere "jumla".
Asked about Congress chief ministers not favouring bringing petrol and diesel under the GST, she said there was no dichotomy in the Congress's stand on the issue.
"Our stand is clear that petrol and diesel be brought under the GST ambit. There is no dichotomy within the party on the issue. Currently, the BJP is in power in 21 states and if they want, petrol and diesel prices can be brought under GST," she told reporters.
She said the chief ministers and finance ministers of states ruled by the Congress are on board on the issue, but there may have been differences over some issues about revenue sharing with states that can be sorted out. The party has last month gone on the offensive on the rising petrol and diesel prices and observed a day-long 'Bharat Bandh' on the issue.