New Delhi [India], April 28 (ANI): After hitting out at opposition-ruled states for “not cutting taxes” on fuel, Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Thursday accused them of “hypocrisy” on aviation turbine fuel, saying that West Bengal, Maharashtra and Delhi have much more value added tax on ATF compared to BJP-ruled Uttar Pradesh.
In tweets, Puri, who is Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas, said that aviation turbine fuel constitutes about 40 per cent of the cost of airline operations. He alleged that opposition parties “manufacture” protests against oil prices but “fleece people”.
He also said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi ensures affordable air travel to people through his vision of “Hawai chappal se havai Jahaz tak’ but opposition parties create impediments.
“Ever wondered why air ticket prices haven’t come down? Aviation Turbine Fuel constitutes about 40 per cent of the cost of airline operations. But West Bengal, Maharashtra and Delhi impose massive 25 pc + VAT on ATF while BJP states UP & Nagaland; & UT of J&K charge just one pc,” Puri said.
“Such hypocrisy of opposition ruled states. PM Modi Ji ensures affordable air travel to common citizens with his vision of ‘hvaaii cppl se hvaaii jhaaj’ tk’ but these states create impediments. They manufacture protests against ‘oil prices’ but fleece the people to fill their coffers,” he added.
Puri had earlier in the day slammed opposition leaders over their criticism of the government over taxes on petrol and diesel.
The opposition parties had hit out at the government after PM Modi urged them to reduce VAT on fuel during his interaction with Chief Ministers on the COVID-19 situation in the country.
Puri, who made a series of tweets, cited examples of BJP-ruled states which have reduced VAT to bring relief to people.
“Truth hurts, but facts speak for themselves. 18 per cent VAT on petrol and 16 per cent on diesel in Haryana among lowest. An aspiring leader from the state protests against these, but is silent on Rajasthan ruled by his own party which imposes 31.08 pc +Rs1500 /KL cess- among the highest in country!” Puri said.
The minister said BJP-ruled states have a VAT on petrol and diesel in the range of Rs 14.50 to Rs 17.50 per litre while taxes levied by states ruled by other parties are in the range of Rs 26 to Rs 32 per litre.
“The difference is clear. Their intent is only to protest and criticise, not extend relief to the people. “
He also took a dig at Delhi government’s decision to allow liquor shops to offer discounts on prices.
“Petrol will be cheaper if opposition ruled states cut taxes on fuel instead of imported liquor! Maharashtra govt imposes Rs32.15/ltr on petrol & Congress-ruled Rajasthan Rs29.10 But BJP ruled Uttarakhand levies only Rs14.51 & Uttar Pradesh Rs16.50 Protests cannot challenge facts!” he added. (ANI)