Petrol price rise: Mayawati's agitation against UPA on May 31 | Economics times

LUCKNOW: BSP supremo and UP chief minister Mayawati on Wednesday morning held a meeting with party office-bearers, MPs, MLAs and ministers.

She issued directions to hold a nationwide agitation against Congress led UPA government's decision to hike petrol price on May 31. She said that petrol price hike will have a cascading effect increasing the inflation rate further.

The May 31 agitation, she said, would mark the start of campaign to make people aware of anti-people policies of the UPA II. Maya's move is being seen as a counter to Congress's campaign against BSP government in UP over farmer unrest due to land acquisition at Bhatta-Parsaul in Gautambudhnagar.

Maya, while addressing party leaders, said that the petrol price hike shows that Congress does not care about people. She said that the hike was announced immediately after elections in five states, which shows that how Congress made people a fool.

"Such a move if taken earlier would have wiped out Congress in the elections," she said. Now, she added, the UPA government is planning to increase prices of diesel, kerosene and LPG.

She said that petrol has 14% share in the price index, hence increase in inflation is inevitable following increase in the petrol prices fuel price hike. It would result in increase prices of essential products an services.

Maya described Centre's explanation that public sector oil companies were suffering a huge loss due to subsidy on petrol price hike following increase in petrol prices at international level as a lame excuse.

She claimed that the Central government gave a Rs 4 lakh crore subsidy relief package to corporate in 2008-09 to fight recession. In 2009-10, when the growth rate was 6.8%, the Centre again gave a subsidy relief package of about Rs 4 lakh crore to the corporate world. Now, when the growth rate of the economy is around 8%, the UPA Government has given relief package of Rs 4.5 lakh crore to the corporate. This, she said, proves that the 'hand' of the Congress is not with the common man but it was 'hand in glove' with the capitalists.

Elaborating the steps taken by the BSP government to provide some relief to the people from the increase in the petrol prices done by Central government, Mayawati said that the cooking gas was made 'tax free' since June 7 2008 in UP. Besides, the VAT rate levied on diesel was decreased from 21% to 17.23 %. She said that the VAT, being charged on kerosene distributed from the government fair price shops, was also decreased to 5%.

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