Friday, August 6, 2021
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Congress organizes massive protest against Property Tax, Hike in Petrol, Diesel and Gas Prices

Jammu, February 22 (Scoop News)-Congress Party J&K Unit on Monday continued protest at Kachi Chawni near the BJP office, amidst growing apprehensions over imposition of property tax in J&K and continuously increasing petrol, diesel and gas prices, alleging that BJP Govt making a profit by making people suffer in distressing times. The protest was organised by Jammu district Congress committee (Urban), Chandrashekhar Sharma and Atul Sharma both General Secretary DCC, and was led by senior party leaders including former Ministers Raman Bhalla, Former Minister Yogesh Sawhney Ex-MLA Jammu East , JKPCC Chief Spokesman Ravinder Sharma and JKPCC General Secretary Manmohan Singh. Carrying placards denouncing the unjust imposition of property tax and the "unprecedented and unjustified" hike, the participants chanted slogans against the BJP government and demanded immediate rollback of the prices.

Later protesters tried to move towards Governor House but were stopped by heavy deployment of police midway. Meanwhile former Ministers Raman Bhalla and Yogesh Sawhney, Ravinder Sharma, Manmohan Singh, along with Youth Congress President Uday Bhanu Chib, NSUI State President Sunny Parihar, several Corporators and other leaders were arrested and taken into custody by Pacca Danga Police Station during the protest and were later released.

Prominent senior Congress leaders who participated in the protest were Raman Bhalla, Yogesh Sawhney, Ravinder Sharma, Manmohan Singh, Uday Bhanu Chib, Sanjeev Sharma, ML Malager, Dr. Ramakanth Khajuria, Corporator Dwarka Choudhary, Ritu Choudhary, Corporator Bhanu Majajan, Sobit Ali and Rajinder Singh, Ravinder Jamwal, Sanjeev Sharma, Thomas Kokkar, Uttam Singh, Varinder Singh Manhas, Pawan Dev Singh, Varinder Singh Chib, Eijaaz Choudhary, Ricky Dalotra, Sunny Parihar, Rajesh Sharma, Kewal Krishan Jogi, Rakesh Sharma, Dewan Chand, Pawan Sharma, Vijay Sharma, Tilak Raj, Prem Sharma, Jatinder Singh Chib , Gurmeet Singh, Pradeep Bhagat, Sikander Khan, Markes Gill, Jaipal, Ram Magotra, Mohit Singh, Sourav Verma, Yasir Ahmad, Shubam Parihar, Madhu, Parveen, Geeta, Rajni, Rahul Tandon, R K Mania , Gulshan and Ajay Kumar.

Former Minister and senior Congress leader Raman Bhalla speaking on the ocassion said `on one hand, India is witnessing systematic erosion of jobs, wages, and household income. The middle class and those at the margins of our society are struggling. These challenges have been compounded by run-away inflation and an unprecedented rise in the price of almost all household items and essential commodities. Sadly, in these distressing times, the Government has chosen to profiteer off people's misery and suffering.""Fuel prices are at a historic and unsustainable high. In fact, petrol has breached the Rs 100/liter mark in many parts of the country. The surging price of diesel has added to the escalating woes of millions of farmers. What baffles most citizens, is that these prices have been increased despite moderate prices of International crude oil. To put it in context, the crude oil price is nearly half of what it was during the UPA Government's tenure. Therefore, BJP government's act of raising prices is little less than a brazen act of profiteering," he added.

Former Minister Yogesh Sawhney Ex-MLA Jammu (East) said he vehemently opposes the implementation of property tax policy. Businesses have remained shut for months, jobs have been lost and prices are going through the roof, and now imposition of another tax on the people will be unjust. The decision was taken by the BJP government and then thrusted upon the UT without any consideration or consultation with any stakeholders. Be it our pilgrim-based tour industry, or hotel industry, or other businesses, there has been no economic development. Zero measures have been taken to give an economic boost or jumpstart to J&K's growth and development. Instead, new and newer measures are being introduced to exploit, loot, and extort money. That is their formula. BJP has not addressed any really major issues of J&K like unemployment or economic situation, but has exploited the trust of the people who might have voted for them, but now even they regret doing so.

PCC Spokesperson Ravinder Sharma said that ironically, BJP Government has been unreasonably over-zealous in levying excessive excise duty on Petrol and Diesel, i.e., ₹33 on every litre of Petrol and ₹32 on every litre of Diesel, which is higher than the base price of these fuels. This is nothing short of extortion to cover up economic mismanagement. The astronomical rise in domestic non-subsidised LPG Gas cylinder to ₹769 in Delhi (and over ₹800 in many states) is even more cruel and has impacted every household. Can there be any justification for the Government increasing the price of a cylinder by ₹175 in two and a half months since December 2020?The truth is that as GDP nose dives, the prices of Gas, Diesel & Petrol continue to rise unchecked.What is equally distressing is that despite being in power for almost 7-years now, your government continues to blame previous regimes for its own economic mismanagement. To set the record straight, domestic crude oil production has fallen to an 18-year low in the year 2020.

Manmohan Singh, also speaking on the day, further added that The government’s claim that the money raised through the daily hike in fuel prices is going into the hands of the poor people is a joke more cruel than the one-paisa cut it announced at around the same time two years ago.If Govt’s argument is taken on its face value, the important question that begs for an answer is why choose petroleum products for the mobilisation. Raising fuel prices and then blaming it on market forces is like adding insult to injury. If the idea is to find resources to fund the fight against coronavirus, the government might as well impose a special cess and make everyone pay. The 2018 series of price hikes came when crude prices were ruling at an average of 80 dollars per barrel. The prevailing oil market is half as strong as that, but the government is raising the prices perhaps at the same rate, if not more. The gross injustice to consumers is that when crude prices had touched historical lows, they never got any benefit.

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