Chandigarh, June 30 (IANS) Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) President Sukhbir Singh Badal on Tuesday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to reduce central excise on petrol and diesel to bring down fuel prices to provide much needed relief to farmers, transport sector and the common man.
In a letter to the Prime Minister, he urged him to direct the Petroleum Ministry to reduce central excise so that fuel prices could be reduced substantially.
Sukhbir Badal informed the Prime Minister that the steep hike in petrol and diesel prices was resulting in a lot of hardship to farmers who were sowing their 'kharif' crop and had increased prices of essential commodities due to the increased cost of transport of goods across the country.
He said the common man had also been adversely affected by the unprecedented hike.
Sukhbir Badal said that in the given circumstances, it would be in the best interests of society to reverse the trend of increasing fuel prices.
He said that his party had also received representatives in this regard and there was a feeling that fuel prices should be brought down to save the common man from the cascading inflationary effect they were causing.
He said a reduction in fuel prices would also help the industry to get up on its feet by reducing input costs.
Meanwhile, in a separate letter to Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, the SAD President requested him to reduce the state taxes on petrol and diesel to provide substantial relief to farmers, transport sector and the common man.
Sukhbir Badal said the situation was such in Punjab that the state tax on petrol has gone up to as much as 27.27 per cent even as the total state taxes on diesel constitutes 17.53 per cent of its price.
He said the high quotient of state taxes on fuel had affected farmers the most.
He said the flight of migrant labour from Punjab had led to doubling of transplantation rates of paddy.
"In between the paddy sowing season and various farm operations, farmers have been hit by an unreasonable hike in state taxes on diesel. Trade and industry, which is trying to get back on their feet after a three month lockdown, is also feeling the pinch of high state taxes on fuel. The common man is also reeling under the weight of the high tax on petrol," he added.