While protesting against the ever increasing prices of the petroleum products, CPI(M) Manipur state secretariat on Sunday demanded reduction in the excise duty and VAT on petrol and diesel.
The state CPI(M), in a statement, strongly denounced another hike in the prices of petrol, diesel and cooking gas.
“Withdraw the excise duty hike by Central government and VAT by state government both led by BJP to reduce the prices of petrol and diesel to approximately Rs 62 and Rs 48 respectively in the interest of the people,” the party demanded. The party threatened that if the Centre and state fails to reduce the excise duties and VAT on petrol and diesel, CPI(M) will launch various forms of agitations by joining hands with like minded political parties and civil society organisations.
The party alleged that hikes in excise duties on petrol and diesel came at a time when international oil prices have fallen with the base price for petrol being Rs 47.12 in 2014 to Rs 29.34 in 2021, i.e., nearly 38%”, said CPI(M) state secretary Kshetrimayum Santa, in the statement. He added that the main reason for these escalating prices was the unbridled hike in the excise duties by the Central government, which was 38 percent of the cost of petrol. The CPI(M) leader said the tax levied by the Centre increased by a whopping 217 per cent since the Modi government assumed office in 2014. Apart from this, the BJP-led coalition government in Manipur is charging at the rate of Rs 25 and Rs 17 respectively on every litre of petrol and diesel respectively as Value Added Tax (VAT), he added.
The Central governments hiked the excise duties to offset the losses to government revenues due to the tax concessions provided to the corporates such as Adanis and Ambanis and other income taxpayers, the CPI(M) alleged.
“There is a significant reduction in the corporate and income tax revenues from Rs 6.81 and Rs 6.38 lakh crores respectively last year – a reduction to Rs 5.47 and Rs. 5.61 lakh crores respectively, as shown in the 2020-21 budget”, it said.