Trinamool Congress opposes fuel tax hike

New Delhi, Feb 27 (Inditop.com) In what could spell trouble for the ruling United Progressive Alliance (UPA), key constituent Trinamool Congress (TC) Saturday said it will oppose the government’s decision to increase central tax on petrol and diesel.

“We are unhappy with the decision. It should be reconsidered,” TC leader Sudip Bandhopadhyay told Inditop.

He said the party will convey its opposition to the decision in parliament.

“We will convey our differences on the issue on the floor of the House (Lok Sabha),” he said.

Asked if there is a possibility of the party voting along with the opposition in case of vote on budget proposals, he said the TC was opposed to “just one decision” in the budget.

“We are not opposing the whole budget,” he said.

The TC leader said hike in central tax on fuel will impact the poor who are already coping with rise in prices of essential commodities.

The government’s decision to increase central duty on petrol and diesel has put it on a collision course with the opposition and some other parties extending support to it from outside.

The Samajwadi Party (SP), Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) have joined hands with the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party and the Left on the issue of price rise.

The BSP, SP and RJD together have 47 MPs in the 545-member Lok Sabha and can create trouble for the government if they side with the opposition during vote on a cut motion.

With the Trinamool Congress also joining the voices of protest over fuel tax hike, the opposition efforts to put the government in the dock on the issue are expected to gain momentum in the coming days.

However, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal said Friday that the government was “confident” of getting its financial agenda through.

On the possibility of withdrawing tax hike on petroleum products, Bansal said the excise duty had earlier been reduced to offset increase in international prices of crude oil and Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee’s announcement in his budget speech was actually a “rollback”.