Jammu: The Jammu and Kashmir National Panthers Party (JKNPP) staged a protest here today against the BJP government over soaring prices of essential commodities, and demanded an immediate withdrawal of excise duty imposed on diesel and petrol.
Over two dozen JKNPP activists led by its chairman Harsh Dev Singh and state president Balwant Singh Mankotia staged the protest at the Exhibition Ground here. They also burnt an effigy of the party.
Singh said India’s petrol and diesel prices were “costliest in Southeast Asia”.
While the international prices of crude oil had fallen sharply from an annual average of USD 105 per barrel in 2013- 14 to USD 46 per barrel in 2015-16 and 2016-17, the BJP-led central government had hiked excise duty on petrol and diesel over nine times, he said.
While in opposition, top BJP leaders wasted no time to launch a series of protest demonstrations at every corner of the country against price rise, but now when the inflation rate had peaked all time high none of its ministers were uttering a word over the soaring prices, he alleged.
“At the time when GST (Goods and Services Tax) had been introduced to rationalise indirect taxes in the country, it was indeed hypocritical to keep petro-products outside the GST ambit in order to raise additional central revenues,” he said.