Nationwide stir against fuel price hike on Monday

KOLKATA: Protesting against rising prices of petroleum products and demanding the promised remunerative prices of crops and loan waiver for the farmers across the country, the Left parties on Friday called for a nationwide strike on September 10, the day the Congress has announced ‘Bharat bandh’.
Issuing a joint statement, five Left parties including the Communist Party of India (Marxist), Communist Party of India, Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist)-Liberation, RSP and Socialist Unity Centre of India (SUC), accused the Modi government of creating an economic crisis in the country while failing to stand by its electoral promise of recovering black money and creating employment.
“The rising price of petroleum products is having a crippling effect on the livelihood of crores of Indians. This price rise has a cascading all-round inflationary impact. This is contributing to a further economic slowdown reducing existing employment, leave alone creating any new opportunities,” the statement said.
The Left parties also claim that while the Centre refuses to provide promised remunerative price and loan waiver to the peasants of the country, it is shown largesse of waiving loans taken by the corporate houses during the last four years of nearly Rs 4 lakh crore.
“Such crony capitalism is also evident in various deals, like the Rafael fighter aircraft purchase scam, that is fast unfolding. Obdurate rejection of any enquiry into this deal only reconfirms the scam. Black money, instead of recovering, as promised, has been legitimised,” they alleged.
Left Front Chairman Biman Bose on Friday called for a 12-hour strike from 6 am to 6 pm on September 10 across West Bengal in support of the all India ‘protest hartal’.
STEEPEST RISE: Domestic fuel prices witnessed the steepest hike in the year so far with around 50-paise raise on Friday across the four metro cities.
Both petrol and diesel prices have been at their all-time high in the country for around a week now, due to increase in crude oil prices and depreciation in the rupee against the dollar. Weakening of the Indian rupee makes the import of crude oil expensive.
In the national capital, petrol prices rose by 48 paise to Rs 79.99 per litre on Friday, from Rs 79.51 per litre on Thursday, according to data on the Indian Oil Corporation’s website.
Similarly, in the other key cities of Kolkata, Mumbai and Chennai, cost of petrol rose by 47 paise, 48 paise and 51 paise to Rs 82.88, Rs 87.39 and Rs 83.13 per litre on Friday, respectively.