Cong alleges 'tax terrorism' by Centre and Kerala as fuel prices rise

The Congress led opposition in the Kerala Assembly slammed the attitude of both the Centre and the state, accusing them of tax terrorism on Tuesday, amid skyrocketing fuel prices.
Leader of Opposition V. D. Satheesan
Leader of Opposition V. D. Satheesan

Thiruvananthapuram

Leader of Opposition V. D. Satheesan said: "When the UPA government demitted office the tax that the Centre used to receive on one litre of petrol was Rs 9 and today it is Rs 33."
"The Kerala government is silent as they are the biggest indirect beneficiary of this hike as in the past five years they have got an excess of around Rs 2,500 crores by way of taxes on petroleum products," he added.
He pointed out that gone are the days when the ruling Left used to stage protests against a hike in fuel prices during the time of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) and the United Democratic Front (UDF) .
"We all remember they had called five shutdowns in the state over rising fuel prices. Now they are silent and the ruling Left has done nothing against the rising fuel prices, instead joined hands with the Modi government to fleece the people," said Satheesan.
Earlier in the day, Congress legislator Shafi Parambil, seeking leave for an adjournment motion to discuss the fuel price rise said: "One litre of petrol here now costs Rs 110, of which Rs 66 goes as taxes."
"The taxes are fixed by the government and not by the oil companies. The sad part is when Modi is out in the streets to rob people, the Vijayan government is assisting them in doing so instead of breaking their silence," he added.
The Congress leaders have time and again pointed to the model of the Oommen Chandy government (2011-16) where whenever fuel prices increased, he ordered the increased tax portion of the state government be given back to the people.
However, reacting to the comparison, State Finance Minister K. N. Balagopal said: "The whole process of what is happening now in the country began when the then UPA government allowed a free for all to the oil companies."
"The opposition should realise that the taxes levied in some other states are higher than what it is in Kerala. The Modi government has so far realised a staggering Rs 3 lakh crores by way of the increased prices and has not shared with the states. The need of the hour is that we all stand together and put pressure on the Centre," he added.
Unsatisfied by the reply of Balagopal, Satheesan led the Opposition out of the House.

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