National Conference and CPI (M) Saturday termed the imposition of additional taxes on petrol and diesel as atrocious and irrational.

In its statement, NC said the imposition of additional State taxes on Petrol and Diesel was an atrocious and insensitive move by the Mufti Sayeed PDP-BJP Government especially at a time when the State was yet to recover from the devastation of the September Floods.

Lashing out at the Mufti Government, NC General Secretary Ali Mohammad Sagar said it was now evident that the Mufti Government was hell bent on making people suffer and had no regard for the misery and issues of the flood victims. Senior NC Leader and Former Finance Minister Abdul Rahim Rather said this move would have an adverse effect on the State’s economy and would directly create an inflationary pressure on consumer goods and commodities and also hit the construction and industrial sector.

“This is yet another clear proof of Mufti Government’s agenda to economically persecute the people of the State and wield this as a political tool to quell the widespread public dissatisfaction against PDP’s complete sell-out to the BJP. Rather than doing justice to the Rs 44,000 Crore Flood Relief Package submitted by the precious NC-led Omar Abdullah Government, the PDP-BJP Government is inventing novel ways to make the burden on the common man’s shoulder heavier and unbearable. We strongly condemn this move and seek an immediate roll-back of this arbitrary and distressing increase in the State taxes on petrol and diesel,” NC General Secretary Ali Mohammad Sagar said.

Senior NC Leader and Former Finance Minister, Abdul Rahim Rather said this move was fraught with the risk of further slowing down the already suffering economy of the State and would create a direct and substantial inflationary pressure on the transport, industry, tourism and horticulture sectors.

“This is an arbitrary, dictatorial increase in State taxes on petrol and diesel and the surprising thing is that the PDP-BJP dispensation evaded mentioning this in the Budget Speech and also chose not to debate this in the Legislative Assembly and Legislative Council, thereby passing all established democratic institutions before announcing this back-breaking move. What is the purpose of presenting a Budget if such changes in the tax structure and regime have to be arbitrarily announced? We strongly condemn this decision and will explore all possible ways to not only oppose this move but also seek the roll-back of the increased taxes,” Rather said.

The NC leaders said the PDP-BJP Government was not only a political risk to the State of Jammu and Kashmir but was also proving to be economically detrimental to the interests of the State and its people.

The CPI (M) in its statement said that the party takes a strong exception to the government move to increase tax rate of petroleum products which is directly going to result an unbearable burden on people.

“The State Committee observes that people, who are yet to come to terms after devastating floods in last September, did not get any respite from inflation and rising prices and the same has genuinely made poor people restless,” the statement said.

In view of this precarious situation, CPI (M) State Committee censures and strongly opposes this move of the Jammu and Kashmir government by virtue of which the rate of tax on sale of motor spirit and diesel has been increased by four percent (4 %) each.

“These arbitrary and irrational hikes on petroleum products are completely unacceptable and it is vehemently demanded that the state government should immediately rollback its decision,” it added. “The State committee opines that the latest hike in prices of diesel and petrol would fuel price rise of essential commodities, which would burden the people of the state further. The increase in petrol and diesel prices will affect transportation costs and will surely have a cascading affect on inflation.”

The statement further said that the committee deems the steep increase in petrol and diesel prices is bound to impose an unbearable burden on the people who are already suffering from rising prices of all the essential commodities.

“The government should desist from imposing arbitrary tax hikes on the consumers resulting into repeated hike on petroleum products and cautions it to refrain from such moves or be ready to face the wrath of people.”


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