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Protests against petrol, diesel price hike continue in Kerala

Presenting the budget, Finance Minister Balagopal said a social security cess of Rs two per litre would be levied on petrol and diesel.

Statesman News Service | Thiruvananthapuram |

Opposition parties in Kerala staged protests in different parts of Kerala on Saturday against the LDF government’s budget proposal to impose cess on petrol, diesel and liquor.

Youth Congress workers waved black flags and clashed with police outside the government guest house in Kochi while his convoy left the guest house  on Saturday  morning. They shouted slogans demanding  roll back of the cess imposed on petrol and diesel.

The protesters were detained immediately as security had already been enhanced outside the guesthouse in the wake of earlier protests.

The Congress on Friday observed  ‘Black Day’  across the state against the alleged anti-people budget  of the LDF government. Congress workers staged demonstrations in different parts of the state, demanding reversal of the proposal to levy “social security cess” on fuel and liquor.

On Friday,Protests erupted soon after the finance minister presented the budget for 2023-24  in the Assembly, proposing to increase prices of petrol, diesel and liquor.

Youth Congress  workers and the Bharatiya Janata Party’s Yuva Morcha workers  protested outside the state secretariat in Thiruvananthapuram, demanding the roll back of the “anti-people” tax proposals.

Youth Congress workers organised several protests programmes including marches and siege of petrol pumps across the state on Friday  and Saturday.

Meanwhile, KPCC president K Sudhakaran said there will be fierce protests against the backbone breaking budget of the LDF government.

“Pinarayi is leading a lavish life by looting the money of the poor. CPI-M increased the price of liquor to help the drug mafia. Leftists should also react to the tax-hiked budget. The government should not be allowed to loot public money like this,” Sudhakaran  said in Kannur

He said the Congress will no longer announce hartal in the state. Congress is against the strike called, hartal.

Muslim League leader PK Kunhalikutty said that the UDF will  continue the protests until the withdrawal of fuel cess.

Meanwhile, CPI-M state secretary  MV Govindan said  the Centre’s policy is the reason for fuel price hike. He said that the imposition of cess was only a  proposal of the budget.

A final decision will be taken only after discussions on the suggestions, Govindan added.

Kerala Finance Minister KN Balagopal presented the state budget for 2023-24 in the Assembly  on Friday with crucial announcements including increase in fuel price, liquor price,  taxes on vehicle and property.

Presenting the budget, Finance Minister Balagopal said  a social security cess of Rs two per litre  would be levied  on petrol and diesel.

He also proposed to levy a Social Security Cess at the rate of Rs 20 for each bottle of  Indian Made  Foreign Liquor (IMFL) having MRP between Rs 500 to Rs 999 and at the rate of Rs 40 per bottle of IMFL having MRP above Rs 1000.