'Price-gouging of India has to stop': Shashi Tharoor on rising fuel rates

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Calling it “ unconscionable”, Congress MP Shashi Tharoor on Monday launched a withering Twitter attack on the government over the relentless hike in fuel prices over the past 21 days.

The Congress is holding mass protests across the country today over the “unprecedented” rise in petrol and diesel prices.

“The unconscionable price-gouging of India by an anti-people Government, w/21 days of continuous fuel price rises, has to stop. @INCIndia leads the resistance,” tweeted Tharoor.

While the diesel rates have been hiked for the 22nd time since June 7, petrol price has been raised on 21 occasions. There was no change in prices on Sunday.

Petrol price was increased by 5 paise per litre and diesel 13 paise a litre across the country, according to a price notification of state oil marketing companies. The cumulative increase since the oil companies started the cycle on June 7 now totals to Rs 9.17 for petrol and Rs 11.14 in diesel.

In Delhi, a litre of petrol now comes for Rs 80.43 per litre as compared to Rs 80.38 earlier. Diesel rates have been increased to Rs 80.53 per litre from Rs 80.40.

Rates vary from state to state depending on the incidence of local sales tax or VAT.

Tharoor listed out a series of steps to bring relief to the common man at a time the nation is also battling a raging coronavirus pandemic.

“1) Pass the benefits of low crude oil prices to the people by reducing prices of petrol-diesel-LPG 2) Bring petrol and diesel under GST 3) Immediately withdraw 13 hikes in excise duty since May 2014 on petroleum products,” Tharoor added.

The unconscionable price-gouging of India by an anti-people Government, w/21 days of continuous fuel price rises, has to stop. ⁦@INCIndia⁩ leads the resistance. #SpeakUpAgainstFuelHike pic.twitter.com/oGSTJa7WKz

— Shashi Tharoor (@ShashiTharoor) June 29, 2020

In a little over one-minute video, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi too urged people to join “SpeakUpAgainstFuelHike” campaign.

आइये #SpeakUpAgainstFuelHike campaign से जुड़ें। pic.twitter.com/oh8AEfqM3y

— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) June 29, 2020

In a circular, Congress general secretary (organisation) KC Venugopal asked cadre to register a strong protest against the BJP-led government at the Centre through demonstrations against the “extortionate increase” in fuel rates when people face “unprecedented” economic challenges due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Members of Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee were detained by police while protesting near IP College against continuous hike in fuel prices. In Bengaluru, former CM Siddaramaiah, along with other party leaders, cycled from his residence to Congress office in the city to register protest against rising fuel prices.

According to the Indian Oil Company’s website, total taxes on petrol and diesel are more than their basic rates. Almost all states have raised the value-added tax (VAT) on petrol and diesel since mid-March.

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