Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Thursday took a swipe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “Pariksha Pe Charcha” programme, saying he should also discuss the rising costs of everyday expenses.
At his annual virtual dialogue with school students, Modi had on Wednesday asked students not to be scared of exams and take it as a test to improve themselves.
“Due to the central government’s tax collection, filling fuel in the car has become no less than giving an examination, then why doesn’t the PM discuss it?” Gandhi asked. “Kharche pe bhi ho charcha [Discussion should also be done on expenses].”
The Congress has been criticising the government for the rise in fuel and gas prices. It has demanded that the cost be brought back to the level at which they existed at the time of the United Progressive Alliance government. The Centre imposes excise duty on petrol and diesel while the states levy Value Added Tax.
Last month, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had also said that the Centre and state governments should make a mutual decision on reducing taxes on fuel, to cushion the impact of record high domestic prices of petrol and diesel.
The doubling of crude oil prices over the past 10 months has contributed to record rise in fuel rates in India. In some places in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra, the prices had surged past Rs 100.
Taxes and duties account for roughly 60% of the retail price of petrol and diesel in the country. In February, Reserve Bank of India Governor Shaktikanta Das had also called on the Centre and states to act in a coordinated manner to reduce tax on petrol and diesel.