Siddaramaiah hits out at government over petroleum prices, urges PM Modi to roll back excise duty

Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India], June 18 (ANI): Former Karnataka Chief Minister and Congress leader Siddaramaiah has accused the BJP-led government of not passing the benefit of the low price of crude to the common man and urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to take steps to bring down prices of petroleum products.

Hitting out at the BJP-led government, he termed it as "opportunistic" and said the price of petroleum products were being increased when people were facing difficulties due to COVID-19.

"It is very disheartening to witness and unprecedented opportunistic government which is trying to extract every pound and flesh from the common man, that too when the whole country is suffering from the COVID-19 pandemic. This is in the backdrop of the continuous price hike in the last 10 days," said the letter was written on Wednesday.

The Congress leader said that the policy decisions taken by the government "with respect to managing fuel sources are inconsistent with the prudent measures generally adopted".

"When the price of crude oil was remarkably low in March, April and May 2020, your government was very reluctant to pass on the benefits to the people by reducing the fuel prices proportionately, but, instead, your government continued to capitalise by increasing the excise duty," he said.

He said the government had also "failed" in the last six years to increase the oil storage capacity which could have been used for the country's advantage when the international crude oil price fell really low.

He said the government should roll back the excise duty and help in the reduction of fuel prices.

"The reduced burden will help the common man to have additional money in hand that will be spent on essential goods and services which will ultimately help them tide over these difficult times," he said. (ANI)