Mangaluru, Lashing out at the BJP government in Karnataka for its failure to contain the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Karnatka Congress chief D.K. Shivakumar on Sunday sought details of the relief aid provided to the Covid-affected people, especially the migrants, labourers and displaced people in the state.
“Though Prime Minister Narendra Modi claimed to have allocated a Rs 20 lakh crore package to the Covid-hit people across the country, the Karnataka government has not given the details of the relief aid provided to the beneficiaries, including the ‘beedi’ workers in this coastal region,” Shivakumar told the media here.
Asserting that he would raise the mismanagement of the Covid relief measures during the pandemic in the ensuing state Budget session starting March 4, the Congress lawmaker lamented that the Central and state governments were indifferent to the welfare of the people.
“Petrol and diesel prices have shot up 10 times in the recent days, as the Centre refuses to reduce excise duty on them and the state government’s value added tax (VAT), which account for over 50 per cent of fuel retail price per litre,” said Shivakumar on the second day of his trip to the coastal region.
Alarmed over the apathy of the ruling BJP to the plight of the people, as price of petrol crossed Rs 100 per litre and diesel Rs 90 per litre in some states due to high taxes, Shivakumar wondered if Prime Minister Modi cared about the poor and the middle class.
“Taxes on petrol during the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance-2 government in 2013-14 was Rs 10.7 on petrol per litre and Rs 4.9 on diesel per litre.
“In the present BJP dispensation, central taxes like excise duty have shot up to Rs 32.9 per litre of petrol and Rs 32.80 per litre of diesel, which are fueling the inflation,” Shivakumar said.
The Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) President also accused the BJP government in the southern state of increasing the property tax amid the Covid-19 pandemic and at a time when people were in distress.