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PM Modi Faces Flak as Fuel Prices Skyrocket in India

© Sputnik / Sergey Guneev / Go to the mediabankIndian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the official welcome of G20 leaders, guest countries and international organizations by German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Hamburg
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the official welcome of G20 leaders, guest countries and international organizations by German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Hamburg - Sputnik International
Prime Minister Narendra Modi claimed in 2015 that crude prices had decreased due to his good fortune. Now, with petrol and diesel prices hitting an all-time high, internet memes have surfaced mocking Modi for having boasted of his luck, which has now turned its back on him.

New Delhi (Sputnik) — Public outrage against rising fuel prices in India has grown after the latest hike, which took the price of petrol to INR 85.29 ($1.25) per liter in Mumbai and the price of diesel to INR 72.96 ($1.07) a liter.

As of Wednesday, one trigger after another had led to the 10th consecutive daily increase in the retail selling price of petrol and diesel. 

The government, which has planned a grand celebration to mark its completion of four years in office, is under intense pressure to cut taxes, which account for about 40-50 percent of pump prices and make the commodities the most expensive among South Asian nations.

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Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said that the government was discussing solutions to the problem.  

"The Indian government will take the common man into consideration and come up with short-term and long-term solutions," Pradhan said.   

The price build up shows that the pump price has more than doubled in comparison to the price charged to dealers by oil refiners due to taxes charged in the form of excise duties, value added tax and dealer commissions.

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The price rise has impelled the opposition parties to launch a scathing attack on the Narendra Modi government, accusing it of taking the flawed decision of collecting higher duties when crude prices were low in a bid fund infrastructure projects.

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"The central government saves INR 15 on every liter of petrol due to a fall in crude oil prices. The central government puts an additional tax of INR 10 on every liter of petrol…. This money rightfully belongs to the average consumer," P Chidambaram, a former finance minister and leader of the Congress Party, alleged. 

On social media, people have shared several videos of leaders of the ruling BJP protesting the rise in fuel prices while the Congress Party was in power.

One viral video also shows Prime Minister Narendra Modi boasting of his good fortune when crude prices had come down heavily in 2015.  

The outrage has also taken the form of memes and jokes directed toward the government and Prime Minister Modi in particular.

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