The opposition parties on Thursday staged a walkout from the Lok Sabha in protest at Petroleum Minister Hardeep Puri’s response to the rising cost of gasoline and diesel.According to Union Petroleum Minister Hardeep Puri, while the average price of the Indian basket of crude oil increased by 102% (from $43.34 to $87.55) between November 2020 and November 2022, the retail prices of gasoline and diesel increased in India by only 18.95% and 26.5% during this time. This was in response to a question posed by Lok Sabha MP K. Muraleedharan during the Question Hour on Thursday.
“To insulate the Indian consumers from the impact of high international crude oil prices, Central Government reduced the Central Excise duty twice on 21 November 2021 and 22 May 2022, effecting a cumulative reduction of Rs. 13 and Rs. 16 per litre for petrol and diesel respectively, which was fully passed on to consumers. Following these reductions in Central Excise duty, some of the States/UTs also reduced Value Added Tax (VAT) rates on Petrol and Diesel,” the Minister informed as reported by ANI.
According to Puri, BJP-ruled states and numerous other states have sought to relieve the public by lowering VAT rates, but the state governments of West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Jharkhand, and Kerala have not done so. The opposition parties started uproaring in response to the Petroleum Minister’s response, and as a result, Congress, Trinamool Congress, DMK, TRS, YSR Congress, and Left MPs left the Lok Sabha in protest.
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