NDA allies JD(U), Akali Dal voice concerns over fuel price hikes

JDU said the continuous rise in prices of petrol and diesel was becoming a cause of serious concern. In Punjab, SAD demanded that petrol and diesel be brought under the GST regime to provide immediate relief to the people.

india Updated: Sep 05, 2018 00:10 IST
HT Correspondents
HT Correspondents
Hindustan Times, Patna/Chandigarh
Fuel price,Akali Dal,JD(U)
A notice board displays the revised prices of petrol and diesel outside a fuel station, in Mumbai on September 4.(PTI Photo)

Growing public concern over the sharp spike in petrol and diesel prices found an echo in the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) camp on Tuesday, with two alliance partners --- the Janata Dal (United) or JDU in Bihar and the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) in Punjab --- asking Prime Minister Narendra Modi to defuse the problem that’s hurting common people.

Petrol prices have increased from Rs 74.31 on January 1 to Rs 85.51 on Tuesday, an increase of Rs 11.20. Diesel prices in the corresponding period have risen from Rs 63.38 to Rs 76.95, an increase of Rs 13.57. The hike is the result of rising international crude oil prices and depreciation of the rupee against the dollar.

“The continuous rise in prices of petrol and diesel has become a cause of serious concern. It will impact the cost of transportation, agriculture activities and, ultimately, have a cascading effect on the prices of essential commodities and products. The issue needs to be addressed,” said JD (U) spokesman Rajiv Ranjan Prasad.

Another JD (U) leader, Ajay Alok, tweeted: “Rising Petrol and Diesel prices are hurting now, Dollar soaring and rupee falling, Takes the Air out of rising GDP, we do hope PM @narendramodi will act ASAP”.

In Punjab, SAD demanded that petrol and diesel be brought under the goods and services tax (GST) regime to provide immediate relief to the people.

“The Congress government in Punjab is charging one of the highest taxes on petrol and diesel. It needs to provide immediate relief to consumers by cutting down taxes. The Centre should bring fuel prices under GST so that states cannot levy heavy VAT (value added tax) on fuel,” SAD spokesman Daljit Singh Cheema said.

The JD (U) also supported bringing fuel prices under the GST regime to lower the tax burden. “We will welcome it. Incidence of VAT on petrol is lower than many states and a consensus on keeping petrol and diesel in the 28% GST tax slab will have no negative impact on the state’s resource mobilization,” Prasad said.

He said they were raising a common concern of the JD (U) and the Bharatiya Janata Party for a resolution at the highest level.

The BJP did not see any pressure tactic behind the JD (U)’s concern over oil prices.

“Who is comfortable with rising fuel prices? But in an era of globalisation and devaluation of major currencies, including ours, against the dollar, we have to live through the temporary phase,” said BJP spokesperson.

First Published: Sep 05, 2018 00:10 IST