THE Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU), in a statement issued on May 1, has denounced the hike in petrol price by Rs 1.06 per litre and diesel by Rs 2.94 per litre. Due to this hike, petrol in Delhi will cost Rs 62.19 per litre and diesel will cost Rs 50.95 per litre. This anti-people step of the NDA government is a cruel and atrocious onslaught on the mass of the people already reeling under continuing price rise of all essential commodities.
Moreover the irony is that this steep hike in prices of petrol and diesel has come at a time when the price of crude oil is falling in the international market. Even today’s newspapers have carried reports that crude oil price is poised to come down below 30 US dollar per barrel. The fact is that crude oil supply still exceeds demand and the supply glut continues to endure in the internal market.
The argument of the government that variation of rupee exchange rate with US dollar warrants increase in petrol-diesel prices is nothing but imposition of the burden of pro-capitalist economic policy of the NDA on the shoulders of the common people. CITU denounces such plea of the government.
Actually the irrational tax structure, the total tax component being around 48 percent, is the villain behind high prices of petroleum products in our country. Successive central governments have used the petroleum sector as a milking cow for its revenue generation while allowing a free run to the private giants, both domestic and foreign, making huge money from the same national assets. CITU calls upon the government to reduce the taxes/duties instead of increasing the burden on the common man through price rise of petrol, diesel and other petroleum products which always have cascading impact on the prices of essential commodities.
CITU demands total rolling back of the hike of the prices of petrol and diesel announced by the government. CITU calls upon the working class to mobilise and vociferously protest against governments’ anti-people and anti-worker step of price hike in petrol and diesel.