Price rise attacking lives and livelihood in very household: Congress
New Delhi: The Congress on Saturday claimed that the common people have been burdened with additional taxes of Rs 1.25 lakh crore in the new financial year by the BJP government and termed the rising prices as the biggest challenge to the sustenance of every individual.
Addressing a press conference here, party general secretary and chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala fired a fresh salvo against the government, alleging its new mantra is “electoral victory is the licence to loot”, and cited the rise in costs of fuels, fertilizers and medicines, besides other things.
“The diktat of the cruel, cumbersome and back-breaking ‘price rise’ imposed by the Modi Government with effect from April 1 has shattered the budget of every household in India.
“‘Price rise is now the biggest challenge to the sustenance of every individual, as it is attacking the lives and livelihood of every household,” he told reporters.
Surjewala alleged the government is taxing the 62 crore farmers by raising the price of DAP fertilizer by Rs 150 per bag.
“The Modi government is seeking revenge against India’s ‘annadatas’ for the ‘Kisan Aandolan’ as price of DAP bag of 50 kg has been increased from Rs 1200 to Rs 1350 per bag, thus collecting more revenue of Rs 3,600 crore by burdening the farmer,” he said.
The price of an NPKS bag of 50 kg has also been increased by Rs 110 per bag, thus putting an additional burden on farmers of Rs 3,740 crore, he alleged.
“The daily ‘Good Morning gift’ of the rise in the price of petrol-diesel is the 10th increase in such prices in the last 12 days. The prices of petrol and diesel have gone up by Rs 7.20/litre across India,” he said.
Quoting data from the Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell of the government, he said the consumption of petrol in the year 2020-21 was 279.69 lakh metric tonnes and with the hike of Rs 7.20/litre, the additional yearly burden on people comes to Rs 20,138 crore.
For diesel, the Congress leader claimed that the government is earning an additional Rs 52,353 crore.
In the last eight years, he said, the BJP Government has increased the excise duty on petrol by 18.70 per litre and on diesel by Rs.18.34 per litre, which is a “shocking 531 percent and 203 percent” hike respectively.
“The Modi Government has earned Rs 26 lakh crore in eight years by increasing excise duty on petrol and diesel alone,” he said.
On April 1, Surjewala said, the commercial gas cylinder price was hiked by Rs 250 per cylinder and in the last eight years of BJP rule, the Commercial LPG Cylinder has seen a massive hike of Rs 845.
At a price increase of Rs 140.50 per cylinder, the additional yearly burden on people comes to Rs 27,095 crore, the Congress leader claimed.
There has also been an attack on Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) as its price was hiked for the sixth time in a month by 80 paise per kg and it has become costlier by Rs 4 per kg in the last month alone.
It is estimated that in 2021-22 consumption is at 3,500 thousand metric tonnes, thus putting an additional burden of Rs 1,400 crore on people through the rise in its price, he said.
Surjewala claimed that another additional burden on people of Rs 961.20 crore is on account of a hike in piped gas.
Toll tax on National Highways has been hiked by 10-18 percent and the annual collections by the government in 2020-21 was Rs 28,458 crore and is expected to be Rs 34,000 crore in 2021-22 and the 18 percent hike accounts for another Rs 6,120 crore of additional taxes.
The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) has announced a hike of 10.76 percent in prices of around 800 essential drugs from April 1 and as per industry estimates, it will burden the ordinary consumer by Rs 10,000 crore.
The tax deduction on Home loan of Rs 1.5 lakh per year under Section 80EEA of the IT Act has been withdrawn. Retirement money will now be in the government’s pockets, as from April 1, 2022, interest will be taxed for contributions of over Rs 2.5 lakh in the EPF account, Surjewala said.
Building material, white goods and cars have also become costlier as all companies have announced price hikes from April 1.
“There is not a single sphere of a citizen’s life, where prices have not increased. The Modi Government remains responsible for this theft,” Surjewala alleged.