Karnataka minister Zameer Ahmed Khan dares BJP for open discussion on petrol prices

Public TV English
Public TV English
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BENGALURU: Amid row over the hike in petrol prices in Karnataka, Housing and Minorities Welfare Minister Zameer Ahmed Khan challenged the Bharatiya Janata Party for an open discussion on the petrol prices.

He said that it is the BJP government that allowed petrol prices to cross the century mark in the state.

Speaking to reporters on Monday, he highlighted that the central government was collecting an excise duty of Rs. 32.98 per litre on petrol and Rs. 31.83 per litre on diesel. He asked why the BJP leaders were silent about this.

During the UPA government, Zameer said the excise duty on petrol was Rs. 9.48, and on diesel, it was Rs. 3.56. Therefore, at that time, petrol was available at Rs. 68.31, and diesel at Rs. 48.63.

However, after the BJP government came to power, petrol prices went up to Rs. 106.

“During the UPA government, the crude oil price was USD 97.68 per barrel, and petrol was Rs. 68.31 per litre. Now, even though the crude oil price is USD 77.64 per barrel, why didn’t petrol and diesel prices decrease during the BJP’s tenure? When the price of petrol crossed Rs. 100 during Basavaraj Bommai’s government, where were their voices then? BJP increased the cooking gas price from Rs. 419 to Rs. 903,” Khan said.

He also challenged BJP leaders to come for an open discussion on the petrol prices in the state.

The Karnataka Chief Minister criticized the BJP and JDS for their protests against the fuel price hike, stating, “Today BJP and JDS are protesting as petrol and diesel prices have increased. But, they don’t have to protest against the state government. They must protest against the Centre. After Narendra Modi became PM, petrol prices increased from Rs. 72.26 to Rs. 104 and diesel prices increased from Rs. 57.72 to Rs. 92. When in the international market crude oil prices decreased, PM Modi’s government increased the prices.”

Earlier in the day, Union Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas Hardeep Singh Puri said that the Congress-led Karnataka government has saddled the people of Karnataka with the burden of paying Rs 3 per litre more for petrol and diesel in the state.

“After not fulfilling the promises of transferring Rs 8500/month to a woman of each family, Congress-led Karnataka government has saddled the people of Karnataka with the burden of paying Rs 3/litre more for petrol and diesel in the state,” Hardeep Puri said in a post on X.

“The price of petrol and diesel at the bunk is determined in large part due to the international prevailing price because we import 85% of our requirements of crude oil. I have done some statistics, between 2004 and 2014 the price of petrol and diesel in Bengaluru went up by 84%. This is during the Congress time and in diesel, it went up by 111 per cent, he said.

Specifying about the global challenges impacting the international price of fuel, he said, “Because the international price had gone up and to that, you add the cost of insurance, cost of freight, refining margin…In our time, from 2014 to 2024, there was turbulence in the international situation, there was a Russia-Ukraine war situation which is still going on, there was a problem closer to home in the Red Sea, attacks by Houthi rebels…Yet we have been able to navigate the international situation…”

“Bharat is the only country, where prices of petrol and diesel over a representative period have come down in the case of petrol by about 2% or so and diesel by a little per cent instead of going up. How did we manage this? PM Modi reduced the excise duty levied by the Centre on two occasions, November 21 and May 2022. As a result, central excise duty came down and all the BJP states also reduced the VAT that they charged. If you go into the VAT figures it becomes clear. The difference in price between Itanagar and Chennai is Rs 9.90 for petrol, between Lucknow and Telangana is Rs 12.76, between Gandhinagar and Bengaluru is Rs 8.21, between Panaji and Kerala is Rs 12.35, between Guwahati and Kolkata is Rs 6.80…Between 2004 and 2014, Congress introduced petrol bonds. They floated Rs 1.41 lakh crores and today we are having to pay back Rs 3.20 lakh crores,” Hardeep Puri said.

The increase in the price of petrol and diesel comes following an official notification from the Government of Karnataka, which indicates a revision in the sales tax levied on petroleum products.

The price of petrol has surged by Rs 3, bringing the cost per litre in Bengaluru to Rs 102.84, up from the previous rate of Rs 99.84. Similarly, the price of diesel has increased by Rs 3.02, raising the cost per litre from Rs 85.93 to Rs 88.95. (ANI)

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