New Delhi: Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram on Tuesday accused the Centre of "profiteering" through higher taxes on fuel at the cost of the people and said one of the reasons why inflation is high is because of the "artificially-kept" high prices of petrol and diesel.
The former Union minister attacked the government and urged Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to read an editorial in an English newspaper in which it was noted that petrol prices were deregulated over the UPA and NDA governments between 2010 and 2014.
However, the 'decontrol' reform has stopped since September 2014, he said.
"Crude prices were below USD 60 between 2014 and 2021, peaked when Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022, but has since fallen to USD 75. Yet, the government has not passed on the benefit of lower crude prices to the people consuming petrol and diesel," Chidambaram said.
"It is obvious that the government is 'profiteering' through higher taxes and cesses at the cost of the people," he alleged.
"One of the reasons why inflation is high is because of the artificially-kept high prices of petrol and diesel," he said.
The Congress has been accusing the central dispensation of not passing on the benefits of lower crude oil prices to consumers and demanding a relief for them.