Left parties' fortnight-long stir against fuel price hike begins today
The fortnight-long agitation of the Left parties against rising prices of fuel, essential commodities and medicines will begin from Wednesday. The protest will end on June 30 during which the parties will ask the Centre to roll back increased price of petrol and diesel and control the rates of other essential items.
The Communist Party of India (Marxist), Communist Party of India, All India Forward Bloc, Revolutionary Socialist Party and Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist)-Liberation issued a joint statement in this regard on Sunday.
"More assaults on people's livelihood are being mounted by this relentless rise in prices of all essential commodities. Instead of helping people to combat the ravages of the Covid health catastrophe, the Narendra Modi government hiked the prices of petroleum products by at least 21 times after the announcement of the results of the recent assembly elections on May 2, 2021," the parties said in the statement.
This is leading to a cascading inflationary spiral with the Wholesale Price Index (WPI) rising to an eleven-year high, they further said.
The Left parties also demanded that the central government must immediately give direct cash transfers of ₹7,500 per month for six months to all families not falling in the income tax-paying bracket.
The protests will be carried out in accordance with the Covid-19 norms put in place by the government, the parties said.
The prices of petrol and diesel have soared across India in the past few weeks, with both the fuels retailing at record prices in some cities. Rates have been increased across the country and differ from state to state depending on the incidence of value-added tax.
The rising fuel prices drove the WPI inflation to reach to a record high of 12.94 per cent in May. This is the fifth straight month of uptick seen in the WPI-based inflation. In April, 2021, it hit double digit at 10.49 per cent.
Inflation in fuel and power basket spiked to 37.61 per cent during May, against 20.94 per cent in April. Prices of crude petroleum and other fuels had crashed last year in May due to lockdowns across the globe which had caused demand to plummet.