|Early Times Report|
Jammu, Sept 9: Political parties are out to force another shut on the country, putting people of all walks of life to gross inconvenience and cause huge financial losses to the country in one single day.
Congress party has called for Bharat bandh on Monday against rising prices of fuel, essentials and falling value of rupee against dollar. While the Bandh is bound to cause huge financial losses, its political dimension is stirring greater interest. As Congress led Bandh is being seen as a show of strength by the united opposition against the ruling BJP led NDA government, it is ironical that TMC leader and West Bengal chief minister who had been working overtime for opposition unity has decided to stay away from the Bandh while JD (S), an ally of the NDA has decided to join it.
With transport unions likely to support the bandh call in most states, the general public is likely to face huge problems on road. In Jammu, the JKPCC has decided to hold protest demonstrations across Jammu region, which is likely to put office goers, students and commuters to inconvenience.
Since mid-August, petrol price has risen by Rs 3.42 a litre and diesel by Rs 3.84 per litre as rupee hit record low against the US dollar, making imports costlier. Almost half of the retail selling price of the two fuels is made up of Central and state taxes.
According to oil companies, petrol at refinery gate costs around Rs 40.50 a litre and diesel Rs 43 a litre.
The Centre currently levies a total excise duty of Rs 19.48 per litre of petrol and Rs 15.33 per litre on diesel.
On top of this, states levy Value Added Tax (VAT) - the lowest being in Andaman and Nicobar Islands where 6 percent sales tax is charged on both the fuels.