Kolkata (West Bengal) [India], April 28 (ANI): After Prime Minister Narendra Modi appealed to states to reduce taxes on fuel, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday asked the Centre to reduce the prices of cooking gas, petrol and diesel immediately.
The Chief Minister was speaking at the State Secretariat on Thursday.
When asked about her meeting with the PM Modi on COVID, Banerjee said, “The issue of the meeting was not COVID but this. They want to divert attention from the price rise. They should immediately reduce the prices of cooking gas, petrol and diesel.”
“They ( Central Government) will not take up the real issues, but shift the blame on the states”, added CM Banerjee.
On Wednesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a COVID-19 review meeting with Chief Ministers of all States and Union Territories. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel were amongst those present in the meeting.
In the meeting, Prime Minister Modi appealed to the States ruled by non-BJP parties to reduce tax on fuel. He said prices of fuel were higher in many opposition-ruled states and urged them to reduce Value Added Tax in “national interest” and as a part of “cooperative federalism” to benefit the common man.
After the meeting, CM Banerjee said, “The West Bengal government has spent Rs 1,500 crore in the past three years to subsidise petrol and diesel in the state. We have been providing a subsidy of Rs 1 on every litre of petrol and diesel for the past three years.”
PM Modi made the appeal on fuel price tax reduction during his interactions with Chief Ministers of several states over rising cases of COVID-19.
The Central government in November had reduced excise duty on petrol and diesel by Rs 5 and Rs 10 respectively. Following the Center’s decision, 25 states and Union Territories, mostly ruled by BJP or their allies had reduced VAT on petrol and diesel to give relief to consumers. (ANI)