Thiruvananthapuram: Congress on Friday accused the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre of looting people by increasing fuel prices and demanded immediate rollback of the hike in excise duty and customs duty imposed on petroleum products.
"Hikes are unfathomable on all accounts, especially owing to the fact that the government and Oil Marketing Companies are making gains amounting to more than Rs 2,30,000 crore, even as the common man is made to pay," AICC spokesman P C Chacko said.
Disputing the government's claim that the hike was necessitated due to increase in price of crude oil in the international market, he said the truth was that the price of Indian crude basket was Rs 6318.76 per barrel on May 26, 2014, which has today reduced to a mere Rs 4141.94 per barrel.
"This means that there has been a drop in the crude prices by as much as 34 per cent. When the prices reduce, the benefits should accrue to the common man. But the government reduced petrol prices by just seven per cent and that of diesel by only 7.8 per cent," he said.
Lashing out at the NDA government, he said its hallmark was breach of promises made to the people before the Lok Sabha elections last year. Modi's most important promise of bringing back black money stashed in foreign banks was one such.
"Not a single step has been taken in this regard other than setting up a Special Investigation Team, which became mandatory after an Apex Court directive in a connected case," he said.
Chacko alleged that the country's core economic indicators such as agriculture industry had registered negative growth during Modi's one-year rule.
The social sector has also been neglected by NDA, he said, adding, there was a substantial reduction in budget towards this sector.