Opposing any move to hike petrol prices, the CPI(M) today asked the government to impose a 'windfall profit tax' on private and JV oil firms as well as private refineries and not burden the common people. "In no case can the UPA government pamper the private oil companies to make windfall profits and, at the same time, increase the price of petrol and diesel and burden the people further when they are suffering from steep price rise of essential commodities," CPI(M) Politburo said in a statement.
It recommended the imposition of 'windfall profit tax' on private and joint venture oil producing firms as well as private standalone refineries "earning huge profits through import parity policy of pricing". With crude prices exceeding 100 USD per barrel, "it is necessary that windfall gains be recovered from all private and joint venture oil producing companies like M/S Cairns, Reliance, Essar etc. extracting oil and gas in India," the statement said.
It added that when these contractors participated in the New Exploration Licensing Policy, "none of them could have envisaged crude prices beyond 30 USD a barrel." "It would be a failure on government's part to allow upstream contractors additional gain of 70-80 USD per barrel without any extra work," the party said, adding that many other countries had "renegotiated their contracts with a threat of imposing windfall taxes on such profits."
"It is time that the government takes charge and recovers unintended gains from upstream contractors," it said.