Petrol, diesel prices increased 71 times in last six months; Congress slams BJP
Guwahati: Rajya Sabha MP and Indian National Congress spokesperson Shaktisinh Gohil slammed the BJP-led central government against rising fuel prices across the nation.
The skyrocketing prices of petrol, diesel, LPG and necessary items have dealt a double blow to the people of India, who were already facing shrinking family incomes, decreasing job opportunities and a declining economy, stated the Rajya Sabha MP.
Addressing the media here in Guwahati, Rajya Sabha MP and Indian National Congress spokesperson Shaktisinh Gohil said, “Average Crude Oil rates per bbl had reached close to $ 112 in 2011-12 and when Congress left office, the average crude oil rates were $105.52 but the petrol prices per litre were Rs 71.51. Current international crude oil price is $ 44.82 (2020- 2021).”
The misdirected policies of the Modi Government are solely responsible for the economic recession & decreasing family incomes. Its anti-people policies have led to soaring inflation and the highest ever number of jobless youth in the country, alleged Gohil.
“The 140 crore people of India are suffering the Modi made disaster of inflation, unemployment, economic recession and Corona pandemic. Every day hike in fuel prices had further compounded the problems by making ends meet a challenge for every household. Thus, the increase in the prices of diesel fertilizers-seeds-pesticides-electricity-agriculture equipment effected by the Modi Government has increased the cost of cultivation for the farmer by about ₹ 20,000 per hectare,” added the Rajya Sabha MP Gohil.
As per Kotak Institutional Securities Research in comparison to March 2021, the prices of common household items have increased up to 42% in June 2021 (In just 3 months).
In the 73 years history of this country, for the first time 5 per cent GST was imposed on fertilisers 18 per cent tax on pesticides, 12 per cent tax on tractors and farming equipment.
Gohil’s statement on Meteoric rise in petrol and diesel Rates
Petrol rates have crossed the 100-rupee mark in all 4 metro cities and in more than 200 cities of our country for the first time in history –
▪ Between January 1, 2021 and July 10, 2021, petrol and diesel prices have been increased 71 times
▪ The Modi government has earned more than Rs 25 Lakh crore through excise duty in the last 7 years of its rule
▪ In the last 7 years, the Excise duty on Petrol has been increased by 248% and by 820% on Diesel. The per litre increase in excise on Petrol in the last 7 years is Rs 23.50 and on diesel is Rs 28.37.
▪ The total excise collection in 2014-15 was Rs 99 Thousand Crore which has risen to Rs 4 Lakh 53 Thousand Crore in 2020-21.
▪ GoI collects Rs 32.9 per ltr from sale of petrol out of which Rs 20.5 per ltr is in the form of Cess. Cess proceeds are not shared with State Governments. So, 62% of what GoI collects from sale of petrol, State Governments will not get anything. On diesel Central Government collects Rs 31.8 per ltr of which Cess is Rs 22 per Ltr ie 69% of collection by GoI from sale of diesel will not have any share of State Governments.
▪ There is often an argument about the states reducing their VAT to lower the prices in their state. All states combined have collected Rs 1.35 Lakh Crore as VAT in the first 9 months of 2020-21 and this figure is expected to reach Rs 1.80 Lakh Crore for the entire 2020-21. Compared with the amount center collects as Excise, this is just 41% of Rs. 4.53 Lakh Crore.
▪ High excise duty on petrol and diesel is highly regressive as it affects the middle class and lower income groups both directly and indirectly
▪ High prices of diesel are anti-farmers too as they are the consumers of diesel directly and an increase affects them directly
Fall in Domestic Oil Production under Modi Rule
▪ Indigenous Crude Oil production was 23.4% (of Imports + Indigenous Crude oil) under UPA-I and UPA-II that has fallen to 15.8% between 2014 and 2020. This share has been on a freefall under the Modi government. Infact, India recorded the lowest crude oil production in at least 18 years in 2020
▪ While on one hand, the Modi government has the audacity to blame previous governments for its incompetence, the truth is that it is trying to hide behind the bush. The capital outlay for Oil and Natural gas Corporation (ONGC), which accounts for 63% of the total domestic crude oil production is down 8% at Rs 29,800 crore in the annual budget of 2021-22 against Rs 32,501 crore during 2020-21. Investment in state-run oil and gas companies is pegged at Rs 104,870 which is lower than Rs 107,154 crore earmarked in the last budget. This shows the non seriousness of the government towards boosting domestic production
▪ Destroying Oil & Gas PSUs: Due to a steady fall in the cash reserves of ONGC, backed by low capital outlay by the government, ONGC has trimmed the oil exploration and development works significantly. ONGC’s annual finance costs have jumped from Rs 0.36 crore in FY14 to Rs 2,824 crore in FY20 that have lent a huge blow to its pockets. ONGC’s acquisitions of controlling stake in Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd (HPCL) and majority stake in Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation’s (GSPC) KG Basin gas block forced it to raise debt of Rs 24,881 Crore leading to massive cuts in exploratory wells expenditure. The exploratory wells expenditure for ONGC has dropped from 11,687 Crore in FY14 to Rs 4,330 Crore in FY20.
In April 2014 price of LPG was Rs 414 per Cyl which is currently Rs 834 per Cyl. In last 7 year price of LPG is doubled by GoI. In the last 6 hikes in the last 7 months, the government has increased LPG prices by Rs. 240. LPG cylinder has gone to Rs 834, which was Rs 594 in November, 2020. There are 29 crore LPG users in this country. How many of Ujjwala beneficiaries can today buy LPG Cylinders at Rs. 834 per cyl. The reality is 23 crore people in our country have been pushed below the poverty line, and 97% people have become poorer in year 2020.
When UPA demitted office in 2014, we were putting a bill of Rs. 1,42,000 crore per annum as far as fuel subsidy. So, it is important that the government today realises how petro-LPG hike is going to impact our economy. We are seeing inflation at level of 6.3% that impacts the common man directly as Rs 240 per cylinder.
Commodity Price comparison- year 2014 Vs 2021 –
Full cream milk -Rs 44 (2014) / 57 (2021)
Toned -34 /47
Double toned -32/ 41
Deshi Ghee- Rs 380 (2014)/ Rs Rs 600-800 (2021)
Tur- Rs 64 (2014) / 130-150 (2021)
Urad dal- Rs 59 (2014)/ Rs 145 (2021)
Mung- Rs 65 (2014) / 100-110
Mustard oil- Rs 60-70(2014) / Rs 175-200(2021)
Tea -Rs 116 (2014) Rs 145 (2021)
The modal (most common) retail prices of edible oils have increased by 25% to 50% in the past one year.
The PMC (Price Monitoring Cell) data also shows that the modal vanaspati prices (packed) went up from Rs 80 to Rs 120 per litre in the past one year and one litre of packed sunflower oil was selling at Rs 150 on March 2021 compared to Rs 110 a year back.