Jammu, 06-09-2018: Expressing concern over the sharp rise in prices of petrol, diesel and gas besides other essential commodities during the last four years of the BJP regime, scores of Panther activists spearheaded by Mr. Harsh Dev Singh Chairman JKNPP and other leaders staged a vociferous protest demonstration at Exhibition Ground Jammu today. The agitated protestors amid raising anti-BJP slogans torched its effigy to express their resentment over the current inflation trends of fuel and gas in the country which had broken the back of the common masses.
Describing India’s Petrol and Diesel prices costliest in Southeast Asia, Mr. Harsh Dev Singh divulged that while the international prices of crude oil had fallen sharply from an annual average of $105 per barrel in 2013-14 to $ 65 in 2017-18, the Centre had hiked excise duty on petrol and diesel over ten times. He further said that at the time when GST had been introduced to rationalise indirect taxes in the country, it was indeed hypocritical to keep petro-products outside the GST ambit in order to raise additional central revenues. “The retail prices of diesel and petrol in Sept 2018 had reached on all time high in the history of the country. If the petrol at Rs. 81 per litre on an average was brought under the new tax regime, it would cost as little as Rs. 46 per litre at 12% GST rate and diesel at Rs. 72 per litre on an average would cost Rs. 40 per litre. The average current gap between petrol and diesel prices per litre reducing to Rs.9/- per litre has led to steep rise in transportation fares which has made other essential commodities dearer and unaffordable for the common man ”, Harsh rued. He regretted that inflation had become a benchmark of BJP’s governance and the collection of exorbitant excise duty over Rs. 2.5 lakh crores per year from diesel and petrol had become a new normal which was like looting people and not at all justified. Referring to the price rise of domestic gas in the country on a frequent basis, Mr. Singh said that with the petrol and diesel becoming dearer, the price rise of other petroleum products like domestic LPG cylinders had also added to the woes of the end consumers. With the price rise of non -subsidized LPG cylinder to Rs. 854/- per bottle, it had recorded the steepest increase in six years, Harsh maintained.
Lambasting the BJP for its hypocrisy over the inflation, Mr. Singh reminded that while the BJP was in opposition, its front line leaders wasted no time to lodge series of protest demonstrations at every nook and corner of the country against the price rise of essential commodities. But now when the Saffron party having been in power for the last four years, the inflation rate had peaked all time high and broken all records with none of its Ministers uttering a word over the soaring prices, he added. Mr. Singh said that BJP which was voted to power in the country and the state had failed to realize its grandiloquent promise of good governance, development, employment opportunities, literacy, poverty alleviation, etc and was only indulging in rabble rousing and hollow rants for vote bank politics. He said that NPP shall agitate on every nook and corner of Jammu Pradesh to expose, oppose and depose the BJP for its duplicity, deceit and betrayals. He asked the GoI to immediately withdraw the massive excise duty imposed on diesel and petrol to provide relief to the common man against the spiraling prices of gas and fuel.
Prominent among those who spoke on the occasion included Rajesh Padgotra, Gagan Pratap Singh, Rampaul Sharma, Nirmal Kishore, Rajesh Gondhi, Kewal Krishan Sharma, Mohinder Singh, Vishav Singh, Sansar Chand, Ashok Chauhan, Naresh Sharma besides others.