Staging a protest against the State and Central governments over the fuel price hike, here on Tuesday, the Communist Party of India (CPI), the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) and other Left parties have cautioned that they would organise a State bandh if the hike in the petroleum prices is not rolled back.
Addressing the protesters, CPI(M) State secretary P. Madhu said that the Central government had been increasing the prices of petroleum products at a time when people were facing hardships due to COVID-19. The petrol and diesel prices went up by ₹14 and ₹10 per litre respectively when the international crude oil price dropped from $80 in 2018 October to $35 now, he said.
CPI State secretary K. Ramakrishna said the benefits of the fall in crude oil prices were not being passed on to people. The excise duty on petrol and diesel which was ₹9.48 per litre and ₹3.56 per litre respectively in 2014, the year Modi government came to power, now stood at ₹32.98 and ₹31.83, he said.
The base price of diesel and petrol was ₹26 per litre but petrol cost was ₹83.45 in Vijayawada. It was a cruel joke on people to increase the road cess and excess duty indiscriminately, Mr. Madhu said.
The Left leaders demanded that the State government reduce VAT on petroleum products.