Targeting the PM for a record high in fuel prices and fall in rupee, Mr. Gandhi said: "The value of the rupee has never been so weak in the last 70 years; petrol prices have crossed a little over Rs. 80 a litre and diesel a little below Rs. 80". In Mumbai, the price of petrol rose to Rs 88.26 per litre today - an increase of 14 paise. The Centre now levies a total excise duty of Rs 19.48 per litre of petrol and Rs 15.33 per litre on diesel.
While in Tamil Nadu, the strength of MTC and other state-run buses were affected as the trade unions affiliated to the opposition DMK and Left parties had yesterday announced that workers attached to their unions will not report to work. A statement by the Centre of Indian Trade Unions called upon all its members to back the Bandh call against the "unprecedented economic burden being imposed by the BJP-led Modi government on the people". Rajasthan had also reduced the taxes on both, diesel and petrol.
The announced from the Andhra Pradesh government came on the day the oppositions, led by Congress called a nationwide shutdown in a move to protest against the several issues, including the rise in the petrol and diesel prices across India.
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The fuel rates have been on fire since mid-August, rising nearly every day due to a drop in rupee value and rise in crude oil rates. BS Photo by Kamlesh Pednekar Hike in petrol price on the day oppn parties protesting shows govt's insensitivity: Akhilesh Samajwadi Party supremo Akhilesh Yadav said hike in prices of petroleum products on the day opposition parties staged "Bharat Bandh' shows government's "insensitivity" towards common people". Also in attendance were former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi. Nearly half of the retail selling price of the two fuels is made up of Central and State taxes.
While the Congress and other opposition parties claimed the bandh was a success, the BJP claimed it was a flop.
Calling the hike in prices of petroleum products a "momentary difficulty" due to the worldwide crisis, the BJP on Monday condemned incidents of violence during the Bharat Bandh. The central government had raised excise duty on petrol by Rs 11.77 a litre and that on diesel by 13.47 a litre in nine installments between November 2014 and January 2016 to shore up finances as global oil prices fell, but then it cut the tax just once in October previous year by Rs 2 a litre.