Jayalalithaa flays fuel price hike, says it will impact lower, middle class; seeks rollback

Chennai: Opposing the latest hike in prices of petrol and diesel, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on Wednesday said the revision will impact the lower and middle classes and sought its rollback.

In a statement, she said Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) effecting such a revision citing depreciation of the Indian rupee againt US Dollar was “not acceptable”.

“Vehicles transporting goods run on diesel. The hike in diesel price will result in prices of goods going up. Due to this the lower and middle classes will be affected,” she said in a statement here tonight.

The petrol price hike, she said, would impact the motorists who hail from the middle class.

Stating that OMCs had effected a 102% and 85% excise duty increase, she said such high taxation was generally levied on cigarettes in the form of sin tax.

“But it is not fair to impose such high excise duty on petrol and diesel,” she said.

Excise duty on petrol and diesel had been increased by Rs 11.77 and Rs 13.57, respectively, since November 2014, she said.

The US Dollar-Indian rupee value, US Central bank increasing interest rate, dip in Chinese foreign exchange among others will lead to fluctuations in the value of the Indian currency but it was “not acceptable” that fuel prices could be hiked as a result, she said.

The revision would spur an increase in prices of essential commodities which would impact the monthly expenses of the lower and middle-class people, she said and sought for the withdrawal of the hike.