Reduction in fuel prices trickery by BJP to create optical illusion: Congress

The Congress has finished the reduction in fuel prices announced by the BJP-led Central government as being indicative of cluelessness and trickery on part of the ruling party.

“The BJP government’s cluelessness about the economy and financial management has been out in the open for long now. Instead of accepting it and seeking guidance from experts, BJP only resorts to trickery to create an optical illusion. In yet another instance, the Finance Minister put out a series of tweets announcing actions that were purely meant to create a delusion. It is a classic case of BJP’s absolute sense of cluelessness and trickery,” party spokesperson Prof Gourav Vallabh said in a press conference held in the capital on Sunday.

“The FM announced a reduction of Rs. 8 per liter on petrol and Rs. 6 per liter in central excise. While it may seem a significant reduction in absolute terms, but the point of contention doesn’t change. Three steps forward and two steps back doesn’t mean it leads to any improvement in the lives of the common people. The prices are back to the March 2022 numbers. Are the common people pleased at the fuel prices in March 2022? The answer is no. Is the government still charging a hefty excise on fuel? The answer is yes. True relief will only come when excise will be reduced to 2014 levels,” he said.

“Petrol prices have increased by Rs. 10 per liter in the last 60 days and then comes a reduction of Rs. 9.5 per litre. Isn’t this trickery? Diesel prices have increased by Rs. 10 per liter in the last 60 days and then comes a reduction of Rs. 7 per litre. How is this welfare? I have added.

“LPG prices have increased by 142% between May-2014 and May-2022. After the ‘generous’ reduction of Rs. 200, prices are still 94% higher as compared to May-2014. LPG prices have increased by more than Rs. 400 in the last 18 months. Providing Rs. 200 reduction doesn’t mean welfare of the people but just sucking the blood in lower volumes,” Vallabh said.

“The honorable FM tweeted that the inflation has remained lower in their tenure. I would like to question the audacity that the FM has, to come out and make such statements. WPI in April 2022 stood at 15.1% and retail inflation stood at 7.79%. The inflation target band set by the RBI is 2 to 6%. Inflation is killing the common people and it is not breaking news,” he added.

“Madam FM mentioned that her government is devoted to the welfare of the poor. The true face of your devotion to the welfare of the poor lies in the Oxfam report that claimed that, in 2021, income of 84% households fell while the number of billionaires grew. Which welfare is she talking about? CMIE report in 2021 mentioned that income of 97% Indians fell during the pandemic. Of course, there are certain close friends of the government whose welfare is making headlines every day,” Vallabh said.

“I have three very specific questions for the BJP government: What is preventing the BJP government from announcing relief measures for the common people? Why resort to just optical delusion instead of concrete measures?” he said.

“Secondly, will the BJP government guarantee that the excise duties on petrol and diesel will not increase for the next 2 years of their tenure?” he said.

“Thirdly, what measures are being taken to bring down the inflation to the lower end of the 2% to 6% band set by the RBI?” Vallabh said.

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