Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Monday targeted the government over increase in petrol and diesel prices, saying the middle class and the poor pay for the "gifts crony capitalists get".
He also used a graph to show that prices of petrol and diesel were low in May 2014 under the UPA despite high crude cost globally, but the NDA government raised the excise duty on petrol by 258.47 per cent and on diesel by 819.94 per cent as on June 15, 2020.
The statement came on a day oil companies raised petrol and diesel prices by 48 paise per litre and diesel by 23 paise a litre. This is the ninth daily increase in rates in a row since oil companies on June 7 restarted revising prices in line with costs.
"Middle class and the poor pay for the gifts the crony capitalists get," Gandhi said on Twitter. He also used a hashtag in Hindi that translates to "Shame on a government that loots".
Gandhi also said that on May 16, 2014, when the Congress-led UPA was in power, the international crude oil price was $107.09 per barrel, while it is $40.66 on June 15, 2020, when the NDA is in government.
Despite the crude costing USD 66.43 less per barrel, petrol and diesel prices now are higher than what they were in 2014, he said. The Congress has been demanding that petrol and diesel prices be brought under the ambit of GST.
The opposition party has also demanded a rollback of excise duty hikes on petrol, diesel to bring down their prices.
The Congress has said the government is earning out of the pockets of the poor by imposing high taxes on petrol and diesel, depriving the common man the benefit of lower crude oil prices.