Congress leader Rahul Gandhi
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi
Photo Credit: PTI

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday hit out at the government over the increase in fuel taxes. He asked whether it is a government or a "greedy moneylender from old Bollywood movies".

Taking to Twitter, Rahul Gandhi said: "On one hand they are provoking people to take loans, on the other hand they are earning indiscriminately through tax extortion." "Is it a government or a greedy moneylender from old Hindi films?" the former Congress chief said in a tweet in Hindi using the hashtag 'TaxExtortion'.

His attack came a day after the Lok Sabha was informed that the Union government's tax collections on petrol and diesel jumped by 88 per cent to Rs 3.35 lakh crore in the last fiscal.

Excise duty on petrol was hiked from Rs 19.98 per litre to Rs 32.9 last year to recoup gain arising from international oil prices plunging to multi-year low as pandemic gulped demand.

The same on diesel was raised to Rs 31.8 from Rs 15.83 a litre, according to a written reply by Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas Rameswar Teli in the Lok Sabha. This led to excise collections on petrol and diesel jumping to Rs 3.35 lakh crore in 2020-21 (April 2020 to March 2021), from Rs 1.78 lakh crore a year back, he said.

Earlier on Sunday, Rahul Gandhi had attacked the Modi government, saying "your hunger for power" has left lakhs craving for foodgrains.

His attack came over a media report which claimed that during the coronavirus period, even the middle-class Indians were forced to line up for rations.

"Your hunger for power has left lakhs craving for food grains -- You did nothing, but gave 'jumlas' everyday," Gandhi said in a tweet in Hindi using the hashtag 'JumlaJeevi'. PM Modi had coined 'aandolan jeevi' to target those who thrive on protests. The Congress uses the term to hit back at the Modi government.

(With inputs from PTI)

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