New Delhi: The Congress on Sunday fired salvo at the Centre over the regulation of fuel prices and slammed Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government for passing the burden of high crude oil prices instead of relief to the consumers. Addressing a press conference in New Delhi, Congress spokesperson Gourav Vallabh asked why the consumers had to bear the brunt of high fuel rate when the price of crude oil was at a seven-month low.
Demanding an immediate relief to lower and middle-income group families, the Congress asked the Centre to reduce the price of petrol and diesel by at least Rs 15 per litre and cooking gas by at least Rs 150 per cylinder.
“Why is the relief not being passed on to the consumers when the burden of high crude prices is always passed on,” Vallabh said, adding, “Petrol and diesel prices are regulated by election dates and not global rates.”
“What are the excuses by the Modi government for not passing on the relief on decreasing LPG prices to the consumers? Does the Modi government only believe in passing on the burden to the consumers,” the Congress leader further said.
Talking about retail inflation, GDP growth and a depreciating rupee, he said, “The current BJP government is creating new lows with more data points released by its own government. The middle and lower-income groups suffer the most due to the callousness and incompetence of the government.”
He further took a jibe at the government alleging that it has been primarily the most inconsiderate towards fuel prices.
“Since they have a cascading effect across all economic activities, the government’s inactions speak of its cluelessness and misguided focus. The prices of crude oil have been consistently on a downward spiral for the last few months and are at a seven-month low. But the prices of Petrol and Diesel in our country don’t seem to reflect this trend, even after deregulation, which means that the prices of petrol and diesel should change as per global prices,” he said.
Citing data from Petroleum Planning & Analysis Cell (PPAC, Government of India), Vallabh said that the crude oil Indian basket as on September 8, 2022 was USD 88 per barrel, while it was USD 116 in June this year.