People need cheaper fuel, not SilverLine: Cong.

Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) K. Sudhakaran has said the people in the State want relief from the soaring fuel price rather than big-ticket projects like the SilverLine semi high-speed rail corridor.

He was speaking while inaugurating the Statewide motor stoppage protest (Chakra Sthambhana Samaram) outside the Secretariat on Monday in protest against the rise in petroleum prices and the State Government’s refusal to slash Excise duty imposed on them. Congress workers blocked traffic in the capital city for 15 minutes from 11 a.m. as part of the stir.

Mr. Sudhakaran lashed out at the government for failing in its supposed responsibility to cushion the impact of petroleum price rise. In contrast, the Oommen Chandy government had foregone the increase in Excise duties four times during its rule without having any section to raise such demands.

Moral right

As such, the Congress had the moral right to demand a similar response to the current dispensation, he said.

He accused both Central and State governments of refusing to slash petroleum prices proportionate to the international crude oil rates. The Pinarayi Vijayan-led government has done little to help the public that has already been pushed to dire straits by the pandemic. The unchecked rise in prices of petrol and diesel has upset domestic budgets with the cost of essential commodities skyrocketing.

Mr. Sudhakaran also held the government responsible for financial mismanagement that has pushed the State into a debt trap that surpassed ₹4 lakh crore. The State exchequer also benefited from a revenue of ₹18,000 crore through petroleum sales. In spite of such earnings, the Government had not realised the need to alleviate the woes of the public by foregoing a portion of its revenue, he claimed.

In an apparent justification of the protest in Kochi a week ago during which party workers confronted actor Joju George, Mr. Sudhakaran said the party was bound by its commitment to raise issues concerning the common populace and could never remain aloof towards their woes.

Excise duty

He added that the All India Congress Committee (AICC) had issued directions to decrease excise duty imposed on petroleum products in Congress-ruled States.

District Congress Committee president Palode Ravi presided over the demonstration that passed off peacefully without any untoward incident. While some vehicles were blocked by the protesters for a short while, space was reserved for ambulances and private vehicles that required unimpeded passage.

Adoor Prakash, MP, and M. Vincent, MLA, were among those who took part in the stir that stretched from the Secretariat to the Raj Bhavan.

Source link

Sharing Is Caring:

Leave a Comment