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Siddaramaiah questions heavy excise duty on petrol, diesel

Siddaramaiah
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Siddaramaiah

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Former chief minister Siddaramaiah on Tuesday slammed the Centre for levying heavy excise duty on petrol and diesel which has fuelled the prices of essential commodities.

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Bengaluru: Former chief minister Siddaramaiah on Tuesday slammed the Centre for levying heavy excise duty on petrol and diesel which has fuelled the prices of essential commodities.

Taking a dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi for blaming the previous government for rise in fuel prices as it failed to make India self-reliant, Siddaramaiah said, "You have been in power for the past seven years. Why could you not make India self-reliant in fuel?"

The Prime Minister had promised bringing 'Achche Din' but failed to live up to the promise, the Leader of Opposition said in the Karnataka Assembly. "While the struggle for existence has aggravated with people rendering jobless, prices of essential commodities have skyrocketed due to fuel prices," the Congress veteran said. "What is the need for so much excise duty? The Manmohan Singh government had given subsidy but now there is no need for it. Yet, the prices are going up," he said. Siddaramaiah claimed the basic value of petrol and diesel per litre is Rs 32.94 and Rs 34.10 respectively. According to him, a Central excise duty of Rs 32.98 is levied on petrol and Rs 31.83 on diesel while the State further imposes 35 per cent and 24 per cent of sales tax on diesel and petrol respectively. Around Rs 3 is charged as distribution commission and about 34 paise as delivery charge on each litre of petrol. The Congress leader claimed that in 2013 when the UPA led by Manmohan Singh was at the Centre, per barrel crude oil price in the international market was USD 125.45, which came down to USD 46.18 per barrel in 2016, 49.88 in 2019, 54.77 in January 2021 and 64.56 in March 2021. Despite the reduction, petrol prices have risen to Rs 100 per litre in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, the former chief minister said.

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