New Delhi, FEB 15 2021|| News Desk

Synopsis:
Why the BJP leaders and Delhi CM Arvind mum on cooking gas prices breaking through the roof? ask Alka Lamba and Amrita Dhawan. Arvind Government should immediately reduce VAT on petroleum products to give some relief to people—Alka Lamba and Amrita Dhawan

Ex-MLA Alka Lamba and president of the Delhi Pradesh Mahila Congress, Ms Amrita Dhawan, lashed out at the BJP and the Aam Aadmi Party Governments for keeping their mouth shut, even as prices of petrol, diesel and cooking gas have broken through the roof. They said that the Modi Government has so far collected Rs 20 lakh crore on excise duty on petrol and diesel, not sparing the people from the tax burden even during the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown. They said that Congress will hold dharnas and demonstrations to protest against the cooking gas and oil price hikes in all the five MCD wards, which are going for by-elections later this month.

Ms. Alka Lamba and Ms Amrita Dhawan demanded that the Arvind Government should immediately reduce VAT (Value Added Tax) on petrol and diesel so that Delhiites get some relief. They disclosed that the Arvind Government, which collected Rs 2798 crore in VAT on petroleum products in 2014-2015, increased its VAT earnings by 37 per cent, to gross Rs 3,833 crore in 2019.

Ms. Amrita Dhawan said that the Delhi Pradesh Mahila Congress held a demonstration at Rajiv Chowk today, demanding rollback of the prices.

Addressing a press conference at the DPCC office, Rajiv Bhawan here today, Alka Lamba and Amrita Dhawan said that the Arvind Government, which rode to power on the strength of the ‘aam admi’ (common man) votes, is keeping a loud silence, even when the common man is being crushed under the weight of soaring prices of cooking gas, petrol and diesel. Municipal Councillor Amar Latha Sangwan also addressed the press.

Ms. Alka Lamba said that with another sudden hike of Rs 50 on cooking gas last night, an LPG cylinder in Delhi costs Rs 769 now. She said that in the last two-and-a-half-months, since December 2020 to February 15, 2021, cooking gas price jumped by Rs 175, from Rs 594 to Rs 769 per cylinder. She said that even the 5-kg cooking gas cylinder became dearer by Rs 18, with a cylinder now costing Rs 300. She said that cooking gas prices have gone up twice this month, as on 4 February 2021, the price of a 14-kg LPG cylinder increased by Rs 25. She said that when Congress was in power in 2014, a cooking gas cylinder cost just Rs 414, but now people have to shell out a never-before-heard price of Rs 769.

Ms.  Alka Lamba said that Chief Minister Arvind’s silence was all the more ‘deafening’, as he has not spoken out even once, when the prices of petroleum products, including cooking gas, were shooting up, which strengthens the belief that the Aam Aadmi Party Government was a proxy of the Modi-Shah autocracy. She said that Congress leader Shri Rahul Gandhi had aptly described the price rise as “Hum Do, Hamare Do, Diesel 90, Petrol 100, 100 me laga Dhaga, Ab to Cylinder Bhi Uchal- Uchal Kar Bhaga”.

Ms. Amrita Dhawan asked where have all those dharna-protest ‘experts’ like Smriti Irani and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind vanished when housewives of ‘aam aadmi’ households are struggling to make ends meet? She said that in September 2014-15, VAT on petrol and diesel was 20 per cent and 12.5 per cent respectively, but under the Arvind Government, VAT has shot up to 30 per cent.

Ms. Amrita Dhawan said that Delhi CM Arvind was silent on the gas price hike as his Government will also stand to benefit from the ‘loot’ of the Modi Government, which is trying to wring out the last penny from the people stressed out by the Covid-19 pandemic economic crisis, loss of jobs and livelihood

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