Sitaram Yechury said PM Modi increased taxes manifold instead of passing the price cut (File)
Sounding alarm over reports that India's COVID-19 growth rate is the fastest among the countries worst hit by the pandemic, the CPI(M) on Tuesday said the government did not offer any relief to migrant workers but can afford foreign planes for personal travel.
In a series of tweets, CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury hit out at the government over reports that two custom-made B777 aircraft, which will be used to fly Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other top Indian dignitaries, are likely to be delivered by US firm Boeing to Air India by September.
"This is alarming. India's Covid growth rate is the fastest of the worst 5 countries. Testing, testing and more testing followed by isolation, contact tracing and quarantine is the only way to combat this pandemic. We are amongst the lowest testing countries - 3.4 per thousand people.
"Even as there is no relief to suffering migrant returnees, workers or farmers, this is what Modi govt sees as best use of the tax-payers' money, Rs 8458 Crore, at this point! Videshi planes for personal travel, Atmanirbhar slogans for the rest of India," the Left leader wrote on Twitter, tagging news reports.
While the government did not pass on the benefits of price cuts in crude oil to people, it increased taxes "manifold", he alleged.
"When the crude prices fell, Modi increased taxes manifold instead of passing the price cuts to Indians hit by the pandemic. Now, he further burdens Indians as they struggle with their lives, profiting from their misery. What a shame!" the CPI(M) leader said.
The petrol and diesel prices were hiked by 54 paise per litre and 58 paise per litre respectively on Tuesday, in a third straight daily increase after the oil PSUs ended the 82-day hiatus in rate revision.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)