Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Sunday criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi after the government raised excise duty on petrol and diesel at a time when global oil prices have crashed.
“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!” Gandhi tweeted.
On Saturday, the Centre raised excise duty on petrol and diesel by Rs 3 per litre. It stands to make windfall gains from a slump in global crude oil prices and expects to mop up Rs 40,000 crore of additional revenue with the new slab of excise duty. The additional revenue will also give itself room to stimulate a slowing economy that is now facing headwinds of the coronavirus threat.
The Congress had criticised the move as “anti-people” on the assumption that it would lead to an increase in prices at the pump.
Instead, oil marketing companies cut the price of petrol by 13 paise per litre and that of diesel by 16 paise per litre on Saturday.
On Sunday, the price of petrol was cut by another 12 paise while diesel was left untouched. A litre of petrol cost Rs 69.75 in Delhi on Sunday while diesel remained unchanged at Rs 62.58 per litre.
The global price of crude oil which was around $66 per barrel at the beginning of the year crashed to about $51 a barrel in the first week of March. It fell to about $32 in the second week of the month.