Sharp rise in prices of diesel and petrol is a cruel attack by the RSS-BJP Govt. on the people of the country. Prices of these petroleum products have a cascading effect on the prices of all commodities including essential commodities. This rise in prices has added to the economic burden on the common people who are any way groaning under the impact of anti-people economic policies pursued by the Govts.
Though the Govt. is attributing this rise to the increase in the prices of crude oil in the international market, but the fact is that prices of diesel and petrol have a large component of the taxes levied by the Central and State Govts. In fact since Modi Govt. came to power, taxes on diesel have been increased by 313% and those on petrol by 105%. Central Govt. is heaping miseries on the people to fill its coffers which it uses to benefit the corporate. Now the Govt. says that it cannot reduce the taxes as it would lead to cutting back the social schemes while the fact is that expenditure on social schemes has been regularly coming down.
Central Govt. and the ruling RSS-BJP are saying that the rise in prices of petroleum products is solely due to fluctuations in the prices of crude in the market, but when these prices had come down to very low, there was no reduction in prices of diesel and petrol as the Govt. had increased taxes and had collected more than 11 lakh crores in the taxes on that account, but now leave out the utilization of that extra collection to reduce the burden on the people, Govt. is refusing to even lower the tax rate.
It is precisely because of the high tax rates that diesel and petrol is so costly in India. These taxes are indirect taxes levied from the common people. These prices are high even in comparison to the prices of diesel and petrol in our neighbouring countries like Srilanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal.
Even the state govts. run by different ruling class parties are not lowering taxes collected by them not even forgoing increased taxes due to rise in prices of petroleum products.
Sharp increase in prices of diesel and petrol is bound to adversely affect the economy. It will particularly hit the peasants and agricultural operations due to sharp rise in the prices of diesel.
We demand withdrawal of increase in the prices of diesel and petrol. We demand immediate cut in the taxes on these products levied by Central and State Govts. and lessen the burden on the people.
CPI(ML)-New Democracy calls upon the people to demand cut in taxes on these products. Party and mass organizations should expose the false propaganda of the Govt. on this issue and mobilize the people to demand cut in Central and State Govt. taxes.
September 3, 2018