Concerned Congress wants common man’s burden reduced

September 16th, 2011 - 8:26 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Sep 16 (IANS) The Congress Friday said it was concerned over the rise in price of petrol and called upon the party-led United Progressive Alliance government to find a way to reduce the burden on the common man.

“We are concerned if price of petrol goes up. The burden it is causing (on the common man), the government should find a way. The government has to find a way,” Congress spokesperson Rashid Alvi said here.

He said the price of petrol was decided by oil marketing companies on the basis of international crude cost after the government decontrolled prices.

The oil marketing companies Thursday hiked the price of petrol by Rs.3.14 a litre effective Friday, triggering protests from opposition parties and even some constituents of the ruling United Progressive Alliance (UPA).

Alvi suggested that state governments can reduce taxes on petrol to provide relief to the common man.

He said the Delhi government had reduced its Value Added Tax (VAT) on petrol.

Though he named Bihar, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh as states which levied the VAT on petrol at over 25 percent, Alvi did not spell out the percentage of VAT in Maharashtra and Goa where the Congress is a ruling party, despite repeated queries.

The spokesperson said he will find out about taxes on petrol in Congress-ruled states.

At one point, Alvi also said the petrol price hike was “inevitable”.

“I feel the hike was inevitable… If price of crude goes up, it will have an impact. What is in the hands of the government?” Alvi said.

He said 84 percent of the country’s crude oil requirements were met through imports and rates of crude were decided on a daily basis. He said that change in value of rupee vis-a-vis dollar was also a factor in hike in price of petrol.

The Congress spokesperson maintained that oil marketing companies decide the price of petrol on “no profit, no loss” basis.

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