Congress leader Amarinder Singh on Sunday lashed out at SAD-BJP government in Punjab for increasing the tax on diesel prices, saying it will put an additional burden on farmers who were in need of relief in the wake of "scanty" rains.
On October 1, Punjab excise and taxation department increased VAT rate on diesel (other than premium diesel) by 1 per cent. After the hike in VAT, the retail price of diesel jumped by 55 paise a litre to Rs 58.11 per litre.
"Now, after the hike, farmers' input costs will further increase which will mean additional burden," Amarinder said.
The Amritsar MP said diesel prices should have been reduced by the NDA government at the Centre as crude oil prices in the international market have come down.
"While the NDA is shying away from slashing the prices at the Centre, Akalis have slapped a hike in Punjab," he noted.
The former Punjab chief minister expressed surprise as to why the Centre was not passing on the benefit to consumers in the country.
"When you pass on the burden of hike to consumers, you must pass on the benefit of reduced prices to them as well," he argued.
Farmers should have got relief due to poor monsoons coupled with "no electricity" which have forced them to use generators to irrigate their fields, he said.
Amarinder also said that transportation costs will increase, thus burdening the common man with rising prices, and demanded immediate reversal of the hike.