Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Wednesday urged the Central government to refrain from implementing policies that lead to an uncontrollable rise in fuel prices.
Vijayan, while responding to a call attention motion moved by MLA C H Kunham in the Assembly to reduce tax or effect price control over petroleum products, asked the centre to take steps to control fuel prices.
"The overall price rise caused by the Union government's frequent hiking of fuel price weakens consumption and thereby stands in the way of economic growth. This rise in the price of essential commodities hurts a consumer-State like Kerala. The Centre must refrain from implementing policies that lead to an uncontrollable rise in fuel prices," Vijayan said.
The Chief Minister said that the fuel price was rising uncontrollably after the shift from administrative price mechanism to dynamic pricing.
He added that the people were not getting any benefit from the change in international oil prices.
"When the price in the international oil market reduces, the Central government increases the excise duty and the people were not benefitted from the reduction of price in the international market," he said.
The Chief Minister pointed out that during the last six years, the central tax on petrol and diesel was increased by 307 per cent. "In 2021 alone, the petrol and diesel prices were increased 19 times," he said.
While emphasizing that the Centre shares only the basic excise duty with the States, Vijayan said it's unfair for the Centre to ask states to reduce the tax.
"In the four components of the excise duty levied by the Centre - basic excise duty, special additional excise duty, agriculture infrastructure and development cess and the infrastructure cess - the Centre shares only the basic excise duty with the States. Now, the Centre is asking the States to reduce the tax," Vijayan said.
Instead, he asked the Centre to refrain from increasing the excise duty when the price of oil reduces in the international market.