Former Finance Minister P Chidambaram told NDTV that the hike in petrol and diesel prices by the federal government was an extortion of money for consumers. “One-third of the price of petrol paid by consumers is taxed by the central government, hence the 33 per cent tax levied on any commodity,” Mr Chidambaram said in an exclusive interview with NDTV on the rise in fuel prices.
Mr Chidambaram, who has revised fuel prices, has set a price target of Rs. 102 on payment of Rs. Explained that goes to 42 oil companies (OMCs). The tax is Rs 24 for the central government, Rs 24 for the state government and Rs 4 for dealers. Rs. Rs 33 out of 102 is almost 33 per cent. This, for me, is extortion, ”said the former finance minister.
The comments by the leading politician come at a time when petrol and diesel prices are rising in India due to rising global crude oil prices. Globally, oil prices have risen more than three years above $ 85 a barrel in anticipation of supply shortages over the next few months as demand increases due to the easing of travel restrictions.
Brent crude futures rose 77 cents, or 0.9 percent, to $ 84.77 a barrel, while US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures rose 87 cents, or 1.1 percent, to $ 82.19 a barrel. The deal goes for a weekly 3.5 percent gain for the eighth week in a row.
On Friday, October 15, petrol and diesel prices continued to rise as global crude oil prices rose. In the national capital, petrol and diesel prices rose by 35 paise to Rs. 105.14 per liter and diesel at Rs. 93.87, according to the Indian Oil Corporation.
Mr Chidambaram called the Modi-led government a “greedy” government and demanded that progressive taxes be increased and that the central government stop relying on a single source of revenue to collect its expenditure. “The tax on petrol and diesel is the same as the tax paid by a rich and a poor person on fuel,” Mr Chidambaram said.
Indian state oil refineries such as Indian Oil, Bharat Petroleum and Hindustan Petroleum revise daily fuel tariffs taking into account crude oil prices and rupee-dollar exchange rates in the international market.
Meanwhile, a sharp fall in oil reserves in the United States and member states of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development is expected to keep global distribution tight. On Thursday, the International Energy Agency reported that oil demand was expected to increase by 500,000 barrels per day (bpd) due to the energy crisis.