"Authorities or grasping moneylender from Hindi movies?"

Rahul Gandhi criticized the center for taxes levied on rising fuel prices, calling it tax extortion.

New Delhi:

Congress chief Rahul Gandhi scoured the center today for its gasoline and diesel tax collection and asked if it was a government or a "greedy moneylender from old Hindi films."

His attack came the day after Lok Sabha was informed that the Union government's tax levies on gasoline and diesel had increased 88 percent to Rs 3.35 lakh crore in the past fiscal year.

In a media report on the subject, Rahul Gandhi said: "On the one hand they provoke people to take out loans, on the other hand they earn indiscriminately through tax extortion."

"Is it a government or a greedy moneylender from old Hindi films?" said the former congress leader in a tweet in Hindi with the hashtag "#TaxExtortion".

The excise tax on gasoline was raised from 19.98 rupees per liter to 32.9 rupees last year to offset gains stemming from international oil prices that have fallen to multi-year lows as the pandemic hurt demand.

The same for diesel was raised from 15.83 rupees per liter to 31.8 rupees, according to a written reply from the Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas Rameswar Teli in the Lok Sabha.

This resulted in gasoline and diesel excise collections rising to 3.35 lakh crore in 2020-21 (April 2020 to March 2021), from 1.78 lakh crore a year ago, he said.

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