Former Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda on Thursday flayed the Centre over the rising fuel prices, saying it is bound to have a cascading effect and burden common people. He said the diesel and petrol prices have been going up daily for over two weeks now and the situation has come to a point where diesel and petrol prices are almost at par now.
Hooda said the burden of the fuel price hike has fallen on common people and farmers, whose lives have already been adversely hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. He added the farmers have been hit the hardest as they are dependent on diesel for irrigation and transport.
"The rising petrol and diesel prices are bound to have a cascading effect and will lead to increase in prices of other essentials," said Hooda who is also the Leader of the Opposition in the state assembly. "Fuel prices have a direct correlation with inflation. As fuel prices rise, the transport fares and production costs also rise and this starts an inflationary cycle in the economy."
He said fuel prices in Haryana used to be the cheapest during the Congress rule as taxes were kept at the lowest possible levels.
"People from other states also liked to get petrol and diesel from Haryana during our time. This was because we kept VAT on petroleum products at 9 percent, which has been doubled in the BJP rule. In Haryana too, the prices of both petrol and diesel are touching Rs 80 per litre. In just 19 days, the price of petrol has increased by Rs 8.66 and diesel by Rs 10.62. Earlier, on May 5, the central government increased excise duty on petrol by Rs 10 and on diesel by Rs 13 per litre," he added in a statement.
Hooda demanded that the prices of petrol, diesel and LPG should be brought down to the level of August 2004.
"I say this because the price of crude oil is still close to USD 40 per barrel like it was in August 2004. In August 2004, petrol cost Rs 36.81 per litre, diesel Rs 24.16 a litre and LPG cost Rs 261.60 per cylinder. But today petrol and diesel are being sold for around Rs 80 a litre and the gas cylinder for around Rs 600," he remarked, adding even when the price of crude oil was USD 107 per barrel during Congress-led UPA's time in May 2014, the petrol sold at Rs 71 a litre and diesel at Rs 55 per litre.