While the prices of petrol and diesel continue to skyrocket setting new records in the country, Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas Rameswar Teli on Monday said that free COVID-19 vaccines provided by the Centre led to hike in guel prices. The minister also said one litre of Himalayan water was costlier than one litre of petrol.
Diesel price today breached the Rs 100-a-litre mark in Kerala and Karnataka as fuel prices were hiked yet again to align domestic rates with firming international oil prices. Petrol price was hiked by 30 paise per litre and diesel by 35 paise a litre, according to a price notification of state-owned fuel retailers.
The seventh straight day of price hike pushed fuel rates to a new record high.
Rameswar Teli, the Lok Sabha member from Dibrugarh in Assam, said the money collected in taxes on petrol and diesel was used to procure Covid-19 vaccines.
“Petrol is not costly, the Centre and states have imposed taxes on petrol. You have received Covid-19 vaccines free of cost. Where from the money for Covid-19 vaccines will come? You haven’t paid for vaccines. The cost of the vaccines has come from these taxes,” Teli said in Guwahati.
“Our government has aimed to vaccinate 130 crore people of the country at free of cost. The price of each vaccine is around Rs 1,200 and each person will be vaccinated two doses,” Teli said.
“The cost of one litre petrol is Rs 40. The Centre and states have imposed taxes on petrol. Assam is the only state in the country which has imposed least VAT [value-added tax], and the state has imposed Rs 28 as VAT on petrol. Our ministry has imposed Rs 30 as tax,” he added.
Notably, the prices of petrol and diesel have reached an all-time high and have crossed Rs 100 mark in most part of the country. Rameswar Teli also said that petrol was costliest in Rajasthan as the state government imposed highest VAT on the fuel in the country.
On the other hand, talking about price hike of petroleum products, Assam BJP president Bhabesh Kalita has suggested that, three persons should ride in a motorcycle and the people should practice walk.