Bhubaneswar: Protests against soaring prices of petrol and diesel, which has touched its all time high in the state, were heard both inside Odisha Assembly and outside it on Tuesday as the opposition parties demanded reduction in tax by the Centre and state to ease the burden of the consumers.
They blamed both central and state governments for the situation.
NSUI activists staged a demonstration here blaming the BJP-led government at the Centre for the fuel price hike, while some Congress MLAs cycled to the Assembly as a mark of protest.
The party’s lawmakers – Suresh Kumar Routray, Taraprasad Bahinipati and Adhiraj Panigrahi were seen riding bicycles on Lok Seva Marg on their way to the Assembly to attend the budget session.
The opposition party also moved a notice for discussion on the fuel price hike in the state which was debated for about 90 minutes.
Both the Central and Odisha governments are equally responsible for the fuel price hike. Both fail to feel the people’s plights, Bahinipati, the Congress whip said.
Blaming Prime Minister Narendra Modi for creating Bure Din (bad days) for the citizens instead of Acche Din (good days) promised by him, Congress MLAs demanded that both the governments reduce tax rates to provide relief to the people who are already struggling due to the situation due to the pandemic.
The agitating Congress members also pointed out that the fuel price hike has not only hit the traders, but also farmers, students, daily wage earners and other sections of the society.
Odisha Finance Minister Niranjan Pujari said the tax collected on fuel by the state government is utilised for the welfare of poor people.
He said GST had been imposed on all materials and services in the state barring crude oil, petrol, diesel, aviation fuel, natural gas and liquor.