Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Ever wondered why air ticket prices are so steep? Puri blasts Opposition

Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Hardeep Singh Puri lashed out at Opposition-ruled states for not lowering VAT on fuel prices on Thursday. 

Puri stated that the states of West Bengal, Maharashtra and Delhi imposed heavy VAT on petrol, diesel and aviation turbine fuel. He claimed it being the reason why air ticket prices have not come down as these states charged more than 25 per cent of VAT on Aviation Turbine Fuel (ATF). 

“Ever wondered why air ticket prices haven’t come down? ATF constitutes about 40 percent of the cost of airline operations. But West Bengal, Maharashtra, and Delhi impose massive 25% plus VAT on ATF while BJP states UP and Nagaland and UT of Jammu and Kashmir charge just 1 percent”, he said.

“Such hypocrisy of opposition ruled states. PM Modi Ji ensures affordable air travel to common citizens with his vision of ‘Hawai Chappal se Hawai Jahaj tak’ but these states create impediments. They manufacture protests against ‘oil prices’ but fleece the people to fill their coffers”, he added on Twitter.

“VAT on petrol and diesel in the BJP-ruled states are in the range of Rs 14.50 to Rs 17.50 per liter while taxes levied by states ruled by other parties are in the range of Rs 26 to Rs 32 per liter. The difference is clear. Their intent is only to protest and criticize, not extend relief to the people,” he tweeted.

Puri meanwhile specifically attacked the Uddhav Thackeray-led Maharashtra government and said that the government should have thought about imposing fewer taxes on fuel instead of slashing the excise duty by 50 percent on imported liquor from 300 percent to 150 percent in November last year. He said that the alliance government of Shiv Sena, NCP, and Congress collects Rs 32.15 taxes per liter on petrol.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had raised the issue of high fuel prices in Opposition-ruled States during a Covid review meeting on Wednesday. 

Puri added: “The truth hurts, but facts speak for themselves. Maharashtra government has collected Rs 79,412 crore as fuel taxes since 2018 and is expected to collect 33,000 cr this year. Why did it not reduce VAT on petrol and diesel to provide relief to people?”, he said.

Reports mention that the BJP-ruled states levy less Value Added Tax on fuel prices. Uttarakhand levies only Rs 14.51 and Uttar Pradesh Rs 16.50. In Haryana, 18 percent VAT is collected on petrol and 16 on diesel which is among the lowest.

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