The National Conference on Saturday said the imposition of additional state taxes on petrol and diesel was an "atrocious and insensitive" move by the Mufti Sayeed PDP-BJP government 'especially at a time when the State was yet to recover from the devastation of the September floods'.
Criticizing the government's move, NC General Secretary Ali Mohammad Sagar in a statement said "it is now evident that the Mufti government is hell bent on making people suffer and has no regard for the misery and issues of the flood victims".
"This is yet another clear proof of Mufti Government's agenda to economically persecute the people of the State and wield this as a political tool to quell the widespread public dissatisfaction against PDP's complete sell-out to the BJP. Rather than doing justice to the 44,000 crore flood relief package submitted by the precious government, the PDP-BJP government is inventing novel ways to make the burden on the common man's shoulder heavier and unbearable. We strongly condemn this move and seek an immediate roll-back of this arbitrary and distressing increase in the State taxes on petrol and diesel", Sagar said.
Senior NC leader and former Finance Minister Abdul Rahim Rather said this move would have an adverse effect on the State's economy and would directly create an inflationary pressure on consumer goods and commodities and also hit the construction and industrial sector.
He said this move was fraught with the risk of further slowing down the already suffering economy of the State and would create a direct and substantial inflationary pressure on the transport, industry, tourism and horticulture sectors.
"This is an arbitrary, dictatorial increase in State taxes on petrol and diesel… What is the purpose of presenting a budget if such changes in the tax structure and regime have to be arbitrarily announced?" he questioned.