PRESSURE ON NON BJP STATES TO REDUCE VAT FOR PETROL AND DIESEL, AS CENTRE REDUCES EXCISE

On Wednesday the center had announced it will be reducing the excise charges on Petrol and Diesel reducing the prices of both by Rs. 5 and Rs. 10 respectively. The move has been welcomed by many despite the prices being at an all-time high the past few months. Following the government’s announcement, several BJP ruled states in the country have further reduced the prices by cutting down on the Value Added Tax (VAT) that the state redeems. The states are Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Tripura, Goa, Uttarakhand, Manipur, Assam, Bihar, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh. However, no states run by opposition parties, including the Congress, TMC, AAP, the Left, etc have been able to reduce the prices further as it adds to the financial burden, they claim. Odisha, ruled by the Biju Janata Dal, under CM Naveen Patnaik is the only non-BJP ruled state that has reduced the price of petrol and diesel. The state reduced the VAT on both fuels by Rs. 3 per litre. 

 

K N Balagopal, finance minister of Kerala, said on Thursday that reducing the prices by cutting down on the VAT would be impractical as Kerala is going through a severe financial crisis. The governments of non-BJP ruled states have said the cuts in excise are not enough as the prices of both fuels have skyrocketed for the past few months while the country was undergoing the horrors of the pandemic. “The Centre needs to do far more rather than weigh upon states to reduce VAT drastically. Excise duty was hiked by a big margin even during the pandemic. Let them first bring excise duty back to the earlier levels,” stated a leader from the Congress party, reported News18. Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala mocked the move saying the reduction of the prices is only a fraction of what was increased, also hinting this comes after the loss in the by-elections. The same was stated by former Finance minister P Chidambaram on Twitter. 

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