West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday said the state government has decided to reduce the price of petrol and diesel by Rs 1 from Wednesday. Petrol was priced at Rs 83.75 per litre in Kolkata on Tuesday, up 14 paise from Monday. Diesel cost Rs 75.82 per litre, a rise of 14 paise from the previous day.
Fuel prices have been on the rise in the country for several days. On Monday, 22 Opposition parties called a Bharat Bandh to protest against this increase.
“For the time being, we have decided to slash one rupee for each litre of petrol and diesel,” Banerjee told reporters at the West Bengal secretariat in Kolkata, PTI reported. “We also demand that the central government consider cutting down the cess on diesel and petrol prices.”
The Trinamool Congress chief alleged that the Centre had increased excise duty nine times in the past few years even as international crude oil prices decreased. “Our [state] government has never increased the sales tax or cess during all these years,” she claimed.
On Monday, Banerjee said that the rise in fuel prices was the result of mismanagement of the economy by the Narendra Modi-led central government. However, she added that the nationwide strike called by Opposition could not be the “first and the last option” to protest this hike.
“We support the cause but not the bandh because West Bengal has already lost nearly eight lakh man-days because of bandh and strikes,” she said according to PTI. “But as we support the cause, we held protest rallies in Kolkata.”