New Delhi, February 21
Writing to Prime Minister Narendra Modi about “skyrocketing” fuel and gas prices, Congress leader Sonia Gandhi on Sunday accused the government of “taking advantage” of “people’s misery” and demanded a cancellation of rising prices.
In a letter to Modi, she said the truth is, as GDP “spikes”, gasoline, diesel and gasoline prices continue to rise unchecked.
“I am writing to convey the anguish and deep distress of every citizen in the face of soaring fuel and gas prices. On the one hand, India is experiencing a systematic erosion of jobs, wages and household income. The middle class and those on the margins of our society are struggling. These challenges have been compounded by soaring inflation and an unprecedented rise in the prices of nearly all household items and essential basic items, ”said the congressman.
“Sadly, in these difficult times, the government has chosen to take advantage of the misery and suffering of the people,” Gandhi said.
On Saturday, gasoline prices hit an all-time high of Rs 97 per liter in Mumbai, while the price of diesel broke through Rs 88. It was the 12th consecutive day of rising prices and the biggest daily increase since oil companies started revising their tariffs daily in 2017.
The increase has pushed the price of gasoline to Rs 90.58 per liter in Delhi and to Rs 97 in Mumbai.
Stressing that fuel prices are at an “historic and unsustainable” level, Gandhi said gasoline has crossed the 100 rupees per liter mark in many parts of the country and the soaring diesel price has compounded the woes. crescents of millions of farmers.
“What puzzles most citizens is that these prices have gone up despite moderate international crude oil prices. To put it in context, the price of crude oil is almost half of what it was during the government’s tenure of the UPA. Therefore, your government’s act of raising prices (continuously for 12 days until February 20) is little less than an act of brazen profit, ”she said.
Equally distressing is that, despite having been in power for almost seven years now, the government continues to blame previous regimes for its own economic mismanagement, she said in her letter. to Modi.
To set the record straight, domestic crude oil production fell to its lowest level in 18 years in 2020, Gandhi said.
Governments are elected to lighten the burden on people and, at the very least, not to work directly against their interests, the congressman said.
“I urge you to reverse these increases and pass the benefits on to our middle and working class, our farmers and the poor and our citizens. They are the ones who are fighting an unprecedented economic downturn, widespread unemployment, wage cuts and job losses, high prices and erosion of incomes, ”she said.
“I hope you will agree that it is time for your government to focus on solutions instead of looking for excuses. India deserves better, ”Gandhi said.
Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Saturday that the Center and state governments will need to jointly develop a mechanism to bring retail gasoline and diesel prices down to reasonable levels. PTI
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