Odishatv Bureau

Bhubaneswar: BJD leaders and activists held a protest meeting against increase in fuel prices at Master Canteen square in Bhubaneswar today.

Earlier in the day, the protestors had taken out a rally from Raj Mahal to Master Canteen square and burnt the effigy of Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan. The agitators threatened to intensify their stir if fuel prices are not brought down.

"At a time when oil prices in international market have fallen from USD 150 to USD 60, the Central government has been unable to check the price increase. They are increasing the prices regularly for the benefit of industrialists," said BJD leader Pushpendra Singh Deo.

The price of petrol has been reportedly hiked the maximum in 2017-18 financial year in comparison to last four financial years. Similarly, diesel prices have also topped all past records, informed sources.

"Such instances have happened earlier. The prices are being hiked due to rise in international oil prices. The protest is an attempt to gain political mileage. If Odisha Chief Minister is concerned about the State's interests, will he demand inclusion of fuel in GST?" said BJP spokesperson, Sajjan Sharma.

On the other hand, Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said, "States have their own developmental agenda but in the broader policy framework I believe that to bring fuel under a rational price mechanism the GST council should take a major decision to include it in GST."