Natural gas price hike ‘fuel loot’: Congress

New Delhi: The Congress on Monday dubbed the latest hike in the price of domestic natural gas as “fuel loot” and demanded that the Centre rolls back the excise and custom duties to give relief to the masses.

“First, an unabated rise in petrol-diesel prices, and now a massive hike in prices of LPG/CNG by the Modi government has severely hurt the common people. This unpardonable rise in fuel prices caused by the government’s ‘tax terror’ has burnt gaping holes in the pockets of people.

“The 10 per cent hike in natural gas price will have a spiralling effect on the price of CNG, PNG, urea, fertilisers and electricity, leading to increased cost of transportation, electricity and fertilisers,” Congress leader Pawan Khera told the media here.

On Friday, the government had announced a 10 per cent hike in the price of domestic natural gas, that will in turn increase price of CNG, and production cost of electricity and urea.

“Since May 2014, the Modi government has increased central excise duty 12 times — raising Central Excise on petrol by 211 per cent and on diesel by 443 per cent. Customs duty has been increased manifold. This has led to a Rs 12 lakh crore fuel loot by fleecing and duping the common people. Why doesn’t the government roll back excise and customs duty to give a relief of Rs 10-15 per litre,” added Khera.

The Congress leader also demanded to know why petrol and diesel prices continue to rise despite average crude price during the last 52 months has been 55 per cent lesser than that during the UPA tenure.