New Delhi: The CPM has asked all its units to hold an all-India protest on May 8 against the government’s decision to increase the prices of petrol and diesel, and demand an immediate rollback.
Condemning the “astronomical rise” in the retail price of petrol and diesel, the Left party has said it would have a “back-breaking” impact on the ordinary people and also have a cascading effect on the essential commodity prices.
“The CPM demands that the central government should immediately roll back the duty to provide some relief to the people who are coming under tremendous burden. The politburo has called upon all its units to observe May 8 as an all India protest day demanding the immediate rollback of duty hikes.
“This is particularly necessary after the central government willingly allows lakhs of crores of rupees as tax waivers to top corporates of the country. The retail prices of petrol and diesel are both now ruling at the highest ever levels. The party appeals to all other democratic and pro-people forces to also join in this action to force a roll back of excise duties,” the CPM said in a statement.
The party asserted that the “unusual rise”, which makes retail prices of petroleum products in India, the highest in South Asia, is principally on account of the tremendous hike in “mopping up” revenues by the central government, through excise duties.
The party has argued that in the last four years, from April 1, 2014, the excise duty on petrol has gone up from Rs. 9.48/litre to Rs. 19.48/litre as of now.
This amounts to a hike of 105 per cent and 47.4 per cent of the retail price is going to the tax revenue collection.
Similarly, the excise duty on diesel which was Rs. 3.56/litre on April 1, 2014 has now gone up to Rs. 15.33/litre, it said.