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"Taxing mercilessly...," Cong demands govt to slash petrol, diesel prices by 35 pc

New Delhi: Launching a strong attack on the Centre over a hike in commodities prices, Congress on Sunday demanded the government to slash the prices of petrol and diesel by 35 per cent.

Congress General Secretary in-charge Communications, Jairam Ramesh said that as there is a huge reduction in international prices of crude oil, the government should reduce the prices of petrol and diesel by 35 per cent. "People are facing economic crisis due to inflation and unemployment, but the BJP government is engaged in looting the hard-earned money of the countrymen. Despite the low price of crude oil, instead of giving its benefits to the countrymen, the government is profiteering by taxing petrol and diesel mercilessly and selling cheap oil at a higher price," said Jairam Ramesh.

He said that crude oil has become 35 per cent cheaper in the last year, but the prices of petrol and diesel have not been reduced.
"During the tenure of the PM Modi government, the average crude oil price has been less than USD 65 per barrel. For the last three months, it has been continuously between 70-80 dollars. But the prices of petrol and diesel are not being reduced for the public. Petrol is available above Rs 100 per litre in most parts of the country. Diesel is also above Rs 90," said the Congress leader.

Taking note of the Congress-led UPA government, the party leader said that the previous government used to incur losses on petrol and diesel to provide relief to the public.

"During the Congress regime, in May 2014, the excise duty on petrol and diesel was only Rs 9.20 per litre and Rs 3.46 per litre, which is being charged by the BJP government today at Rs 19.90 per litre on petrol and Rs 15.80 per litre on diesel, i.e., 116 per cent and 357 per cent respectively, more than UPA," the statement read.

"In the last nine years, the central BJP government has collected more than 32 lakh crore rupees from the public by repeatedly increasing the taxes on petrol and diesel, while the Congress government raised the deficit on petrol and diesel to give relief to the public by controlling inflation," it added.
"Our demand is that the government should reduce the prices of petrol and diesel by 35 per cent," the statement added further. 

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