Senior Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Sunday took a sharp jibe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman over the recent hike in petrol and diesel prices despite a major global oil prices crash. Mr Gandhi said his advice to pass on the benefits of global price slump to the masses was ignored.
"Just 3 days ago I had requested PMO India to pass on the benefit of the global oil price crash to Indian consumers, by slashing the prices of petrol and diesel in India. Instead of heeding this advice, our genius has gone and hiked excise duty on fuel!" Mr Gandhi tweeted on Sunday.
In his tweet he also attached a video in which Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman is seen allegedly avoiding a reporter's question over the global oil prices crash.
Just 3 days ago I had requested @PMOIndia to pass on the benefit of the global oil price crash to Indian consumers, by slashing the prices of petrol & diesel in India. Instead of heeding this advice, our genius has gone and hiked #exciseduty on fuel! pic.twitter.com/lGEQosS9JE— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) March 15, 2020
The government on Saturday hiked excise duty on petrol and diesel by a steep Rs 3 per litre to garner about Rs 39,000 crore additional revenue as it repeated its 2014-15 move of not passing on the gains arising from the slump in international oil prices.
According to a notification issued by the Central Board of Indirect Taxes & Customs, special excise duty on petrol was hiked by Rs 2 to Rs 8 per litre, and to Rs 4 a litre from Rs 2 in case of diesel. Additionally, road cess was raised by Re 1 per litre each on petrol and diesel to Rs 10.
Petrol and diesel prices were reduced in the metros on Sunday, March 15, by 12-14 paise as oil companies moderated rate reduction.
Referring to the Madhya Pradesh political crisis, Mr Gandhi had last week attacked PM Modi in a tweet.
"Hey @PMOIndia, while you were busy destabilising an elected Congress government, you may have missed noticing the 35 per cent crash in global oil prices. Could you please pass on the benefit to Indians by slashing petrol prices to under 60 per litre? Will help boost the stalled economy," he had tweeted.