Ramakanta Biswas

Fuel price continued upward trends in Bhubaneswar with the State capital witnessing a rise of 29 paise per litre in petrol price and diesel becoming dearer by 36 paise on Wednesday. 

With the hike in the fuel prices, now petrol costs Rs 103.54 a litre while diesel is Rs 99.70 per litre in the Capital city. 

In Jeypore town of southern Koraput district, petrol is sold at a whopping Rs 108.36/litre while the price of diesel is Rs 104.10 per litre, much to the discomfort of the commoners.

Similarly, in the western Odisha district of Bolangir the price of petrol is Rs 105.70 per litre while the essential fuel is sold at Rs 103.76 a litre in Balasore. 

On the other hand, the price of non-subsidised LPG has increased by Rs 15 per cylinder, hiking the kitchen budget of people

While there is growing resentment among people over the unbearable rise in the fuel and LPG prices, the ruling BJD in Odisha used the opportunity to attack the Centre. 

BJD leader and State Civil Supplies and Consumer Welfare Minister Ranendra Pratap Swain alleged that the Centre is using petrol as a political tool by reducing its price during elections and hiking it again once the polls are over. 

“In 2014, the Excise duty was approximately Rs 3.50 to Rs 3.85 which has now increased to about Rs 34. The Centre has arbitrarily imposed cess in view of Covid-19 situation. As a result, state governments are not getting money from the divisive pool,” Swain alleged. 

Reacting to the allegations of BJD, BJP State General Secretary Prithviraj Harichandan said the revenue collected from various sources is used for fighting Covid-19 pandemic. 

“The Centre has spent Rs 35,000 crore to vaccinate people free of cost while massive expenditure was made in Gareeb Kalyan Yojana. Besides, Covid treatment was given free of cost across the country. As a result, there is a huge financial burden on the Central exchequer,” Harichandan said. 

“Therefore, we request the State government to cut its tax components for an interim period so that consumers get the benefits,” he added.

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