Centre urging BJP-ruled states to cut VAT on fuel

Union Minister Piyush Goyal said on Wednesday that the Centre had called on the states to cut the VAT on the petroleum products.

Published: 13th September 2018 05:53 AM  |   Last Updated: 13th September 2018 06:07 AM   |  A+A-

Union ministers Piyush Goyal, Dharmendra Pradhan and Petroleum Secretary MM Kutty during a Cabinet briefing in New Delhi on Wednesday. (Photo | Shekhar Yadav)

By Express News Service

NEW DELHI:  Amid a public outcry over soaring fuel prices, the BJP is nudging states ruled by the party to reduce the value added tax (VAT) on diesel and petrol to ease the pressure on consumers. Union Minister Piyush Goyal said on Wednesday that the Centre had called on the states to cut the VAT on the petroleum products. Goyal told media persons at the BJP headquarters that Rajasthan had already cut the VAT to ease the pressure on fuel prices.

Goyal claimed that Congress leaders who were not even aware of the size of onion and potato were giving the government sermons on fuel prices.The BJP is seemingly searching for ideas to face the public ire over runaway fuel prices, with attempts to compare the prices with those prevailing during the tenure of the previous government not yielding the desired results. 

With four states heading for elections later this year, including BJP-ruled Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, and Chhattisgarh, the BJP is looking for options to beat the fuel price pressure. Goyal, during a separate interaction with reporters earlier in the day, claimed that the party would win a bigger mandate in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

Punjab not to reduce VAT
After Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh, Punjab has the highest value added tax on petroleum products, but state Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal has ruled out cutting the VAT on petrol and diesel, saying that it is a major source of revenue for the state. If the state government cuts the tax on petrol and diesel by one rupee, it will cost it D520 crore annually, which it cannot afford due to the state’s bad fiscal health. 

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