Samajwadi party leader Akhilesh Yadav on Saturday denounced the BJP-led central government over what he called “reckless” inflation, accusing the center of “robbing the people” and “making them poor via soaring fuel prices. He added that the “oil ministry should be closed”.
“If no government regulation, administration or directorate can control this reckless rise in fuel prices, and if everything depends on the market, what good is the Ministry of Petroleum? These ministries should be closed with immediate effect,” he wrote on Twitter. in Hindi.
The opposition leader’s attack comes as Oil Minister Hardeep Singh Puri told the Lok Sabha on Tuesday that rising oil prices in India were linked to soaring international prices caused by the war in Ukraine.
“We are not the only country affected by the war,” ANI news agency quoted Puri as saying. “India’s fuel price spike is 1/10th of the price rise in other countries. Prices in the US, UK, France, Germany and Spain were up 51%, but in India, the increase is only 5%,” Puri added.
Earlier, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman also pointed out that the price of fuel has shot up several times in the international market after the outbreak of the war, so fuel price increase in India is inevitable.
Although fuel prices remained unchanged for the third day in a row on Saturday, there was a steady increase after a long 4-month hiatus that ended on March 22 after the BJP won assembly elections in five states. Petrol and diesel prices were last raised by 80 paise a liter on Wednesday, taking the total price increase in 16 days to ₹10 per liter.
The government has continually faced heat from opposition parties over soaring fuel prices. Congress leaders have accused the BJP-led government of “taxing”, “torturing the public” and “profiting” from soaring fuel prices. MPs from the Shiv Sena, TMC and other political parties have also attacked the central government for “filling their coffers”.
India is 85% dependent on imports to meet its oil needs, according to a PTI report. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and escalating sanctions have hampered oil flows around the world.