DMK on Saturday opposed the increase in excise duty on petrol and diesel and demanded that the rates of petroleum products be slashed correspondingly whenever their international rates come down.
DMK President M Karunanidhi wondered how many times will the Centre revise excise duty, and criticised it for slashing the fuel rates in minimal amounts even when global crude rates fell sharply.
"Those (Oil Marketing Companies) who hike fuel prices accordingly whenever global crude rates go up, slash prices by 50 paise and 60 paise when they drop," he said in a statement.
Referring to yesterday's cut in price of petrol (Rs 0.32) and diesel (Rs 0.85 per litre), Karunanidhi said that within minutes of this announcement, the government hiked excise duty on these fuels.
Last year, government had increased excise duty five times while prices of petrol and diesel had been slashed ten times and six times, respectively "but there is no big difference in their rates," he said.
"It is being said that the prices of essential commodities go up because of increase in oil rates. If prices of petroleum products are slashed correspondingly when crude rates decrease, it will pave the way for dip in overall prices," he said.
Considering these "facts", the Central government, especially Prime Minister Narendra Modi, should immediately come forward to reduce the excise duty on petrol and diesel, he said.