Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Congress exposed: Who’s breaking the back of common citizens on petrol-diesel prices?

The Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led central government announced an excise duty cut on petrol and diesel by ₹5 and ₹10 respectively on the eve of Deepawali. 

But look at those who were making the loudest noise on the rising fuel costs. 

As each state has its own VAT laws, as many as nine Bharatiya Janata Party-ruled states reduced the Value Added Tax (VAT) on petrol and diesel with immediate effect. 

However, the Opposition-ruled states, where the prices of petrol are much higher, haven’t reduced VAT.

Congress, on one hand, targeted the central government on Twitter saying that Narendra Modi Government should reduce prices to the 2014 level and not undertake cosmetic measures, but on the other hand, turned away from removing VAT from their ruling states. 

In Maharashtra, where Congress is in coalition with Shiv Sena and Nationalist Congress Party, the petrol prices touched the price of Rs 110 per litre. 

Similarly, the VAT on petrol in Delhi is 30%, in Kolkata is 25% or Rs. 13.12 / litre whichever is higher and in Hyderabad is as high as 35.20%. The VAT rates in Congress-ruled Rajasthan are 36% but none of these States have slashed VAT on petrol and diesel, preventing relief to the common man amidst the festival time. 

Meanwhile,  BJP-ruled states including Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Karnataka, Assam and Tripura, among others, promised a major reduction. 

The Uttar Pradesh government announced a reduction in VAT on petrol and diesel, which will result in reducing the prices of petrol and diesel by Rs 12 per litre in the state.

Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant, in a tweet, said: “The Modi Govt. has given a great Diwali gift to all Indians by announcing reduction in Excise Duty on Petrol and Diesel… In addition, Government of Goa shall reduce an additional Rs 7 on Petrol and Rs 7 on Diesel, thereby reducing the price of diesel by Rs 17 per litre and petrol by Rs 12 per litre.”

Uttarakhand chief minister Pushkar Singh Dhami also thanked PM Modi and took to Twitter to inform that his government has decided to give the extra relief of ₹2 per litre on petrol (in addition to the ₹5 per litre relief provided by the Centre), thus making petrol cheaper in the state by ₹7 per litre.

The Karnataka government along with Bihar and Manipur government also announced its decision to reduce VAT. 

Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma took to Twitter to say, “In consonance with the decision of Hon’ble PM @narendramodi, I am pleased to announce that Assam Govt will also reduce VAT on petrol and diesel each by Rs 7/- with immediate effect.”

Earlier last month, Sarma had said that the state government was ready to cut its share of taxes on fuel if the high rates continue for a longer period.

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