Reduce taxes on petrol, diesel; check inflationary trend: Mamata urges PM Modi
- Mamata Banerjee noted that the petrol and diesel prices have been hiked by the Union government eight times since May 4, out of these she said prices were hiked six times in the month of June and four times in one week.
West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to "substantially reduce" taxes charged by the central government on petrol and diesel to "check the overall inflationary trend" in the country. "I would like to draw your attention to the government of India policy which has brought great distress among the common people of the country. Shockingly, the retail price of petrol in many states across the county has crossed an unprecedented ₹100 per litre," Mamata wrote to PM Modi in her letter.
"It is my earnest request that the taxes charged by the Central government on petrol and diesel be substantially reduced to give much-needed relief to the common people and also to check the overall inflationary trend in the country today," she said.
Mamata Banerjee highlighted the unprecedented hike in petrol prices surpassing ₹100-mark per litre. She noted that the petrol and diesel prices have been hiked by the Union government eight times since May 4, out of these she said prices were hiked six times in the month of June and four times in one week.
Adding that the cruel rise in prices of fuel have impacted the common people of the country, Banerjee said it has also directly impacted the rising inflationary trend in the country. "Wholesale Price Index (WPI) in the country rose by 12.94% in May 2021, compared to May 2020. Similarly, Consumer Price Index rose by 6.30% where the prices of edible oils used by common people every day, rose by 30.8%, eggs by 15.2%, fruits by 12%-and health-related items, in the middle of the pandemic, by as much as 8.44%," she highlighted in her letter.
Banerjee said the Centre has collected a staggering revenue of ₹371,725 crore from oil and petroleum products in the financial year 2020-21, in midst of the Covid-19 pandemic. "In fact, over the last six years of your government, Government of India’s tax collection from oil and petroleum products has jumped by a staggering 370% since 2014-15, due to constant hikes in Central Excise Duty on oil and petroleum products including cesses and surcharges, at the cost of the common people," the letter read.
Mamata also lashed out at the constantly increasing cess component of central tax revenues, which she said results in denying the state its legitimate share of 42 per cent of the tax collected by the Union government since cess accrues wholly with the government and is not shared with the states. "Sincerely urge you, to desist from the anti-federalist trend developed in the last few years," Banerjee said.
The Trinamool Congress (TMC)-led West Bengal government has voluntarily given a rebate to petrol and diesel as a token of empathy for the common people, she said.
Meanwhile, TMC leader Partha Chatterjee on Monday announced that the party will stage a sit-in protest against the hike in fuel prices in every block and town of the state on July 10 and 11, following all Covid protocols.