He claimed that for every Rs 100 of petrol, the government is getting Rs 51.78 in taxes. Party member Dr Arun Mitra said it was crude joke for the country that despite the fall in the crude oil prices in the worldwide market, the government continued to fleece the citizens. The Congress is planning a countrywide agitation from September 20 against heavy taxes on the fuel.
"The Congress will launch a nationwide agitation against this burdening of the common man with increased taxes and flooding the coffers of the government", he said.
Explaining his signature drive against the fuel price rise, Maken said a form is distributed to the customer at a petrol pump with a question whether the customer agrees to the suggestion that if the excise and Value-Added Tax duties are cut down, then petrol and diesel could be sold in Delhi for Rs 34 and Rs 32, respectively. "We will request the people arriving at petrol pumps to buy fuel to sign on our paper to protest against the Centre", a senior congress leader said.
He said the party would fight this battle to reduce taxes on every available forum and challenged the BJP to come out with a white paper on taxes on fuels and the gains thereof. Delhi Congress chief Ajay Maken will lead the campaign.
"While global crude oil prices have dropped by more than 52 %t since the NDA government took over on May 26, 2014, domestic petrol prices have skyrocketed to a 3-year-high", Maken said.
"Looting people, profiteering at their expense and squeezing their hard earned money is the sole aim of the BJP government".
Speaking to reporters, the former Union Minister said: "The 10 lakh signatures thus collected will be presented to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to express the people's anguish at the unchecked rise in the prices of petrol and diesel".
He further informed that the total contribution of petroleum to the central and state treasury have crossed 5-lakh crore mark at Rs 5,24,304 crore in 2016-17.
"While the Modi government has spelled out absurd reasons like Hurricanes Harvey and Irma for the increase in petrol and diesel prices, it has dealt a devastating blow to the savings of the common people by brazenly increasing central excise duty 11 times in the past three and half years", Maken told the media here.
Maken accused the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government of hiking the excise duty on petrol and diesel by 11 times.
Congress has asked the Modi government to immediately make a course correction in the fuel prices or the opposition will call for a nationwide agitation.