Shiromani Akali Dal chief Sukhbir Singh Badal on Monday urged the Centre to take back the hike in fuel prices, saying it has caused "stress" to the country's economy and hurt the common man.
In a statement, the SAD president requested the Union government to direct oil companies to pass on the benefit of the sharp decrease in international oil prices to people.
Badal said the "huge hike" in fuel prices over the past 16 days was "causing stress" to the country's economy, which is still reeling from the effect of the coronavirus lockdown.
The 16-day consecutive hike in fuel prices has made petrol and diesel dearer by Rs 9.21 and Rs 8.55 per litre, respectively, he said.
The situation has become such that taxes now make up two thirds of the retail price of both petrol and diesel, the SAD chief said, adding that it has hurt farmers and the common man the most.
Farmers, who were already bearing a huge increase in labour charges for the transplantation of paddy, now have to reckon with an unprecedented hike in fuel prices, the SAD chief said.
He said similarly the common man has started feeling the cascading inflationary effect of the increase in fuel prices with rates of all essential commodities going up.
"The hike in fuel prices is also affecting the supply chain and is even putting a burden on those providing essential supplies during the pandemic," said Badal.
The SAD chief said the withdrawal was also justified keeping in view the unprecedented steep fall in international crude oil prices. Badal also urged the Punjab government to rollback the hike in taxes on petrol and diesel.
He said the state government had affected an increase of Rs 3.20 per litre in the price of petrol and Rs 2.53 per litre in the price of diesel.