Sunday, September 23, 2018
 
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Congress protests against frequent hike in fuel prices



Jammu, September 10 (Scoop News)-The Congress party on Monday staged a massive protest against the Union government on the issue of rising fuel prices in the country in order to highlight the Rs 11 lakh crore fuel loot, to demand that there should be immediate reduction in central excise duty and excessive VAT in the states, and that petrol and diesel be brought within GST so that the common man whose budget has gone haywire, they are provided the requisite relief. A large number of Congress leaders and activists including senior functionaries of PCC, DCC and leaders of frontal organizations including Youth Congress, Mahila Congress, INTUC and Congress Seva Dal, held a strong protest demonstration at Satwari Chowk, Jammu against the BJP Govt. at the Centre over the unprecedented hike of petrol and diesel and other commodities of common use. Led by vice president PCC and former Minister, Raman Bhalla, Dr Shakeel Ahmed Khan Secretary AICC. Besides other prominent & senior leaders include Ex MP Madan Lal Sharma, Th. balwan Singh, Indu Pawar, SS shangari, Th. Shiv Dev Singh, Kanta ban, Manmohan Singh, Vikram Malhotra, Rajesh salhotra, Narmata Sharma, Gurdarshan Singh, Dr Ramakant Khajuria, Bhabbi sharma, Satish Sharma, uttam singh Amrit Bali, madam vandana, Manjeet Singh Jatt, Madam lalta Sharma, Ashok Sharma, Pawan dev Singh, Puneet Arora, Vijay Singh Chib, AP singh Lucky, Pt. Jagan Nath, rittez, Sanjeev panda, Vijay Malhotra, Yudvir Singh, Rajinder Singh, Puran Kundal, kk khajuria, Diwan Chand, Rakesh Bhagat, HS Metha, Padmani langha, Santosh Majlotra, Sumanpreet Singh, Vinod Sharma, Satpal sapolia Simranjeet Singh, Vijay Choudhary, Ricky Dalotra, Surinder Singh Latti, Kulbushan Sharma, Jatinder Singh Chib, Parveen Gupta, Parveen Singh, Tilak Raj Gupta, Sandeep Dogra, Gourav Chopra, Rajni Sharma, Geeta Dogra, Madam Poply, Gurdeep Singh, SS Sudan, Suman Choudhary, Baldev singh, Vinay Sharma Binu, Bupinder Kour, Reenu Bloria, Vijay Sharma, Shom dutt, Pardeep Bhagat, Gulshan, Aman Bawa, the Congress activists took out a protest demonstration having placards in hands and raising slogans against the Modi led NDA Govt. over the issue of unprecedented hike during the past four years causing great hardships to poor people. The placards were carrying slogans like Modi Amit Shah Sharam Karo,Garibo Par Kush Raham Karo, Bahut Ho Gaye Mehangai Ki Maar, Ab Nahi Chahiye 2019 Main Jhumle Wali Fanku Sarkar, Aata Mehnga Dal Mehangi, Tel Mehnga, Mehngi Ho Gaye Gas, Garibo Ka Na Chullah Jale, Modi Videsh Main Kare Aiesh.

Raman Bhalla along with hundred’s of prominent leaders peacefully proceeding towards vikram Chowk, they were arrested by police and taken to police line Jammu.

Addressing the protesters, Dr Shakeel Ahmed Khan said that in the current scenario, there could be a strong case for bringing petrol and diesel under the GST, CARE ratings. “With the sharp recovery of crude oil prices globally and with the increase in the prices of the auto fuels, the inclusion of petrol and diesel under the GST will help in rationalizing the prices of these auto fuels,” he said. If petrol and diesel are brought under GST, it will lead to a 10% and 20% reduction in effective tax rates respectively for petrol and diesel, he added. He also demanded reduction in excise duties on petroleum products imposed by the Centre and the VAT by State Government. He claimed that there has been an increase of 211.7 per cent in the excise duty on petrol since May 2014, when “ Modi” took over as Prime Minister. The increase in excise duty on diesel is 443.6 per cent since May 2014 till today. “This has happened nowhere in the world, never in the history of India”, Khan said. “The all-time high prices of petrol and diesel are bleeding budgets of common people, farmers and middle class,” Congress leader said. The sky-rocketing diesel prices of Rs 73.86 per liter is impacting farmers’ lifeline, besides having a stinging effect on runaway food inflation, Khan said. “Modi Government’s surreptitious move to raise petrol prices on daily basis has burnt holes in the pockets of common man,” he said. Slamming the hike in Petrol and diesel prices, Khan charged the Narendra Modi Government of having betrayed the trust bestowed by common people on it and said that the people of the country would vote out the Government in 2019. He described the Modi Government as 'anti-poor' and 'anti-middle class'. These are the sections that have to bear the burden of high Petrol and Diesel prices. He said Petrol and Diesel prices are high as never before. Diesel- whose price shooting up directly impacts food inflation and is lifeline of Farmers is at an historic high at Rs 73.86 per litre. Petrol – whose continuous price rise burn holes in the pockets of the people, is now the highest since Modi Government assumed office and is selling at Rs 64.72 in Delhi. Prices in states are even higher. Only one year is left, and people of India will definitely vote this Government out, Khan added.

Speaking on the occasion and charging the Modi Government of profiteering at the cost of the common man, Bhalla said,''Post May 26, 2014, International Crude Oil Prices have come down by more than 30 per cent. The BJP Government earned a windfall of Rs 7.35 Lakh Crore by levying various Central Taxes on Petrol/Diesel (Till the Q2 of 2017-18). Where has the money gone? Instead of passing the benefit to ordinary Indians, they got brutally taxed by BJP. There has been a 211.7 per cent Percentage Increase in Excise Duty of Petrol since May 2014 while there has been a 443.06 per cent Increase in Excise Duty of Diesel since May 2014 . The Central Excise duty has been hiked 12 times since BJP came to power Most states are ruled by the BJP, but they have not bothered to decrease the VAT on Petrol/Diesel. Reiterating the demand for bring petrol and disel under GST, he said,''we have demanded in the past and we again reiterate our demand that Petrol-Diesel must be brought in under the GST, Bhalla added. The increasing hike in petrol and diesel prices has further fuelled the fire as this always causes a cascading effect on the whole economy. The spiralling price of every essential commodity has already become a matter of serious concern. What makes the matter worse is that it has hit the lower income groups hardest because it has pushed the prices of essential commodities still higher. The daily successive increases in the fuel prices have caught the Government on the wrong foot. Are they not the same leaders who harped about the plight of the poor people and sought their votes and are now noticeably insensitive to their day-to-day woes due to the galloping rise in prices of the essential commodities, Bhalla asked?


Bhalla asked NDA Govt to understand that increase in petrol price will increase the transportation cost, increase in transportation cost will increase in price of goods, and this increase in price of goods would gradually force the people to loosen their pockets even more, and so on like this, the chain will further propagate. These ups and downs push more people into poverty and leading to a more pathetic situation of those already poor. This has obviously sent shock waves to the common man who is trying hard to make both ends meet. Price hike affects only the low wages or fixed salaried middle class families as compared to higher wages salaried class. The existing middle class is squeezed and many of those striving to attain the middle-class standard find it persistently out of remit will bring no negative impact on government employees as their DAs will be increase accordingly. Rich and corrupted people are least bothered of it. Business class like auto-rickshaw drivers shall transfer the burden to common people so they are also safe. Common people if doing business shall also pass the burden to customers and chain reactions. The community that suffers the most is the common people or “aam aadmi”, Bhalla added.

"The Congress is shouldering its duty as a responsible Opposition by raising the people's voice. The central government has failed to pass on the benefits of a low crude oil price by reducing central excise duty," said Bhalla. It was a matter of concern and anguish that fuel prices were rising fast to touch the Rs 100 per litre mark, he said in a statement, adding that even when crude prices fell, the Centre had not passed on the benefit to the people. Accusing the BJP government of not being bothered about the public or their purchasing power, he alleged that the Centre did not take any steps to rein in the “dangerous and unprecedented” fuel price rise and stop the slide of the rupee against the dollar. Bhalla accused oil marketing companies of putting the hike in fuel prices on hold only during elections in states favourable to the BJP, and increasing it after the conclusion of polls. He said the government has "pushed the people to the streets" to protest against the price rise.

District Jammu Urban President, Vikram Malhotra maintained that it's not just the common man that is feeling the pinch, the spiralling oil prices pose a high risk to India's growth. He pointed out that there is a risk of the monetary policy turning hawkish, which would, in turn, have a bearing on growth of private investments. "At a time when Indian economy is on a recovery path, rising oil prices are again posing high risk to India's economic growth trajectory," he cautioned. According to him, unless swift action is taken to address the situation, economic growth will again head towards a speed breaker. "Among the most immediate actions that can be taken by the government is to bring down the excise duty on fuel," he said, adding that the centre should also work with states to bring petrol products under the GST regime. He said that the rising crude prices coupled with the weaker rupee and the cascading impact on inflation pose a big challenge for the Indian macro picture. According to him, while a cut in excise duty on petrol and diesel may provide temporary relief to consumers, "the sustainable solution lies in the automobile fuel coming under GST, which can happen only after the Centre and the states together reduce their dependence on the fuel considerably".


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