MUMBAI: The Congress’ Mumbai unit chief Sanjay Nirupam Thursday led a bicycle rally from Mahalaxmi Racecourse to Girgaum Chowpatty in south Mumbai to protest against the rise in fuel prices over the past few days.
Hitting out at the state and Central governments, both led by the BJP, he said that people of Mumbai were paying the highest prices in the country for petrol and diesel.
“The Maharashtra government is levying VAT (value-added tax) on fuel at a rate of 40.37 per cent in Mumbai, Thane and Navi Mumbai. This is causing prices to skyrocket,” he alleged.
He claimed that the price of petrol was Rs 70 during the Congress regime when crude oil prices internationally were USD 120, while it was hovering at around the same mark domestically now despite international prices having fallen 50 per cent. “The state government should lower VAT.
Also fuel should be brought under the ambit of GST (Goods and Services Tax) so that prices can be regulated,” he said. He said that in 2015-16 and 2016-17, growth in the government’s revenue from petroleum products was 25 percent each. This was much higher than earlier two years (2013-14 and 2014-15) when the growth stood around 9-10 percent each, he added.
The BJP government has been milking the public and denying them full benefit of lower international crude oil prices that prevailed during the initial years.