GUWAHATI, July 24 � Appreciating the State Government�s proposal to give tax exemption of Rs 14 per LPG cylinder for domestic consumers, the Consumers� Legal Protection Forum said that the recent price hike came a month after the price of petrol was hiked by Rs 5 per litre, and the State Government should reduce the price of diesel by reducing the sales tax on petroleum products.
Justifying its demand for immediate roll-back of the Government�s decision to hike petroleum prices, the Forum said that the recent price hike was a cruel blow to the common people, and that the revision in price of diesel, kerosene and LPG was against the interest of common consumer.
�Most of the items in Assam are imported by road and price rise of diesel is adding extra burden on the common consumer. Hikes in transportation costs have already increased the price of essential commodities. Inflation is also on the rise while price hike in the past had already hit the financial backbone of the common consumer. The recent price hike comes a month after the price of petrol was hiked by Rs 5 per litre. Now, the State Government should reduce the price of diesel by reducing the sales tax on petroleum products,� Forum�s chief coordinator Advocate Ajoy Hazarika said in a statement.
�Due to the Forum�s long-time demand and strong protests the State Government at last had to reduce the tax on LPG cylinders,� Hazarika said, adding that it should make a similar gesture by reducing the sales tax on diesel in the greater interest of the consumers.
From the very beginning the Forum had been decrying the Government�s decision to hike the price of diesel by Rs 3 per litre, domestic LPG by Rs 50 per cylinder and kerosene by Rs 2 per litre.
Hazarika mentioned that in April 1989, the rate of per litre petrol was Rs 8.50, kerosene Rs 2.25, diesel Rs 3.54 and per LPG cylinder was Rs 57.60. In February 1994 the rate of per litre petrol was Rs 16.78 and diesel Rs 6.98. The Government increased the rate of LPG cylinder up to Rs 246 in 2000.
�In the year 2005 the Government further increased the rate of petrol and diesel, and by the end of the year the rate of per litre petrol became Rs 43.49 and diesel 30.45. In September 2010, the rate of per litre petrol touched Rs 51. After December 2010, the rate of petrol increased by five per cent again in the country,� he said.