New Delhi [India], April 27 (ANI): Opposition leaders from the non-BJP ruled state on Wednesday slammed Prime Minister Narendra Modi over his appeal to states to reduce Value Added Tax (VAT) on fuel prices to provide relief to the people from the price hike.
Congress leader Deepender S Hooda accused the Centre of evading its duty on the fuel-price hikes and claimed that Haryana has the highest VAT on petrol-diesel.
“Haryana has the highest VAT on petrol-diesel. Fuel prices are increased if price rises in international markets but when wheat prices increase internationally, farmers don’t get increased MSP on it. The Centre is evading from its duty on the fuel-price hike,” he said.
Shiv Sena leader and Rajya Sabha MP Priyanka Chaturvedi, in a tweet, said, “Making a COVID meeting about politics! The central government has earned 26 lakh crore out of central excise on fuel, which increased 18 times even when oil prices hit rock bottom. The GST share to states still owed… compensation component to states done away with… and now pointing fingers.”
Congress leader Pawan Khera claimed the centre earned Rs 26 lakh crore out of central excise on petrol and diesel.
“He (PM Modi) earned Rs 26 lakh crore out of central excise on petrol and diesel. Has he shared it? You didn’t give the GST share to the states on time and then you ask states to further reduce VAT. He should reduce central excise and then ask others to reduce VAT,” said Khera.
Jharkhand Health Minister Banna Gupta said that the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council should bring petrol, diesel, and LPG under the goods and services tax ambit.
PM today spoke much on petrol-diesel rather than health and the meeting turned out to be a political meeting. PM Modi should bring these- Petrol, Diesel and LPG under GST and formulate one policy for the country,” he said.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray hit back and said that the state government cannot be held responsible for the spike in fuel prices.
“Today, in the price of one litre of diesel in Mumbai, Rs 24.38 is for the Centre and Rs 22.37 is for the state. In petrol price, 31.58 paise is central tax and 32.55 paise state tax. Therefore, it is not a fact that petrol and diesel have become more expensive due to the state,” he said.
Thackeray said that Maharashtra collects the highest GST of 15 per cent in the country. Combining both direct taxes and GST, Maharashtra is the number one state in the country.”
Meanwhile, Karnataka Chief Minister Basavraj Bommai said that they will also decide to on reducing VAT on fuel prices after reviewing the economic situation.
“In November (last year) when Centre reduced excise duty, some states followed and reduced excise duty in line with cooperative federalism. We will also decide (on reducing VAT on fuel prices) after reviewing the economic situation,” said Bommai.
In view of the increasing COVID cases, PM Modi held a video conferencing with the Chief Ministers of all the states and discussed more on other issues rather than health issues.
The Prime Minister called upon opposition-ruled states to follow the Centre’s decision by reducing taxes on petrol and diesel to provide relief to the people from the price hike.
“In order to reduce the burden of rising petrol and diesel prices, the central government reduced the excise duty last November. We had urged the states too to reduce their taxes. Some states reduced the tax and provided benefits to the consumers but some didn’t do so,” said PM Modi.
Naming opposition parties ruled states, PM Modi said, “Maharashtra, West Bengal, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Jharkhand, and Tamil Nadu did not follow the advice of Central Government and people in these states are burdened with price rise.”
“I request these states to do now what they should have done in November. By reducing the VAT you can lower the burden faced by the residents,” he added.
PM Modi made the following comments 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)