Communist Party of India ( Marxist) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury on Wednesday hit out at Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan for his comment on the hike in the fuel prices in the country and said that the excise duty imposed by the Centre is the biggest reason for the increase in the price of the petroleum product.
Speaking to ANI, Yechury said that when international prices were much higher, the prices domestically were much lower.
”All these are lame excuses and ask the Minister how many times the excise duty on petrol, diesel and petroleum products was increased. The biggest culprit for the high prices is the excise duty,” he said.
Responding to Pradhan’s remark that the previous government had left a debt of lakhs of crores of rupees over oil bonds, the CPI (M) General Secretary said, “Everything they do is because of previous years. That is their only excuse.”
Accusing the Centre of looting people, he said, “Why are they increasing excise duty on petroleum products? Why are you continuously looting people by raising more and more revenue for the Central government and making people’s lives miserable? They have no answer to these questions. Their only objective is to loot. And if anything goes wrong they blame the previous government.”
Earlier in the day, Pradhan had said that there has been a rise in the prices of crude oil in the international market and to fulfill the domestic needs, 80 per cent oil has to be imported, which is the main reason for the rise in prices of petrol and diesel.
He also accused the previous UPA regime of fuel price hike stating that Congress had left millions of crores of rupees due on the present government, following which the Centre has to pay both its interest and its price.