Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has taken a swipe at the opposition over its math on runaway fuel price rise. In a post on Facebook, Mr Jaitley linked the weakening rupee and widening current account deficit or CAD to high international price of crude oil.
"The challenges thrown up by the increase in the international price of crude oil cannot be resolved by either the tweets or television bytes of some opposition leaders. The problem is serious," Mr Jaitley said, amid the opposition's attacks that the government has not done enough -- despite cutting excise duty -- to reduce petrol and diesel prices.
The centre on Thursday cut excise duty by Rs 1.50 and oil marketing companies dropped another Re 1, taking the cut in fuel prices to Rs 2.50. It asked the states to match the centre's efforts by cutting value-added tax or VAT on fuel, which some states have done.
Mr Jaitley said the centre's oil tax revenues remain static, but the states independently charge their VAT, so they benefit from higher oil prices while the centre's collection remains the same.
"Yet we have a situation where a number of non-BJP non-NDA States have refused to pass on any benefit to the consumer. What are the people supposed to conclude? Are Rahul Gandhi and his reluctant allies only committed to tweets and television bytes when it comes to give relief to the common man?" Arun Jaitley said.
"Must not the non-BJP States be candid with the people and tell them that both in 2017 and 2018 they refused to give any relief to the people even from their higher revenues. They sent out tweets and gave television bytes but when it came to performance, they looked the other way," the finance minister said.
On Thursday, Congress president Rahul Gandhi had quipped the rupee is "not breaking, it's broken." The rupee continues to fall as global oil prices continued to rise, deepening concerns about the current account deficit and capital outflows.