New Delhi, April 27 : The Polit Bureau has issued the following statement: The Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) strongly condemns the astronomical rise in the prices of petrol and diesel in the country.

The sharp increase in the retail price of petrol and diesel is having a backbreaking impact on the ordinary people of this country. The price of the petroleum products have the obvious cascading effect on the essential commodity prices which the common man uses for daily life. The PB firmly expresses that this unusual rise which makes retail prices of petroleum products in India, the highest in South Asia is principally on account of the tremendous hike in mopping up revenues by the central government, through excise duties.

In the last four years, from 1st April 2014, the excise duty on petrol has gone up from Rs. 9.48/litre to Rs. 19.48/litre as of now. This amounts to a hike of 105% and 47.4% of the retail price is going to the tax revenue collection. Similarly, the excise duty on diesel which was Rs. 3.56/litre on 1st April 2014 has now gone up to Rs. 15.33/litre. This again amounts to an increase of 330%, while 38.09% of the retail price is going to taxes. Going back to the earlier promise of reducing the duty in the event of hardening of the international crude price, the government will commensurately reduce the duty, the high level of duties continue resulting in backbreaking burden on the people. The retail prices of petrol and diesel are both now ruling at the highest ever levels.

The Polit Bureau demands that the central government should immediately roll back the duty to provide some relief to the people who are coming under tremendous burden. The Polit Bureau has called upon all its units to observe 8th May as an all India Protest Day demanding the immediate rollback of duty hikes. This is particularly necessary after the central government willingly allows lakhs of crores of rupees as tax waivers to top corporates of the country. The PB appeals to all other democratic and pro-people forces to also join in this action to force a roll back of excise duties.