The Congress on Saturday attacked the government and demanded lower fuel prices, injection of cash into the economy while questioning India’s China policy.
“If GOI [the government of India] doesn’t inject cash to start the economy now: 1. The poor will be decimated. 2. The middle class will become the new poor. 3. Crony capitalists will own the entire country,” Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said in a tweet. Gandhi has maintained that the government needs to offer cash transfers for the poor to tide over the Covid-19 crisis.
The Congress, which has been critical of the Centre’s Rs 20 lakh crore stimulus announced last month saying it was not enough, on Saturday pointed out the government has increased central excise duty on petrol and diesel by 258% and 819% since it came to power in May 2014.
Former Union minister and Congress leader Kapil Sibal said even as the international crude prices are lowest in 15 years, oil prices are skyrocketing and the common people continue to suffer. He pointed out over the past 11 months, the government has gained Rs 1.6 lakh crore. “Together with Rs 39,000 crore in annual revenues gained from the March 14 excise duty hike of Rs 3 per litre each on petrol and diesel, the government stands to gain as much as Rs 2 lakh crore,” Sibal said.
He said instead of passing the benefit of lower crude prices to the common people, oil prices have been increased for the seventh day on Saturday.
Another Congress leader, Ahmed Patel, questioned the government’s China policy in the wake of the standoff between Indian and Chinese troops along the Line of Actual Control in Ladakh. “Since 1947, [Narendra] Modiji is the only Prime Minister who made 9 official visits to China…Despite numerous visits by the incumbent PM we have this situation,” he said.