KOLKATA: The West Bengal BJP on Thursday stated that the Mamata Banerjee government should reduce VAT on petrol and diesel, taking a cue from the Centre, if it was serious about being pro-people.
The TMC, however, termed the Centre's decision to slash excise duty on petrol and diesel by Rs 5 and Rs 10 per litre respectively a "mere eyewash".
Describing the Centre's move as a "Diwali gift to the nation", Leader of Opposition in West Bengal Assembly Suvendu Adhikari, took to Twitter, and said, "Now the WB Govt should follow suit and slash state tax to further bring down the rates."
BJP national vice-president Dilip Ghosh tweeted that the TMC government, "which claims to be pro-people", has its task cut out to reduce VAT imposed by it on petroleum products.
The party's state president, Sukanta Majumdar, also made a similar demand.
Claiming that the slash in excise duty is "nothing but an eyewash", TMC state general secretary and spokesperson Kunal Ghosh, nonetheless, pointed out that the meagre reduction was announced after the rates hit the roof.
"They should bring down the main price component," he tweeted.
The TMC leader contended that the Centre levies higher tax on petroleum products than the state and as such the reduction in excise duty wouldn't have much bearing on the Union government's exchequer.
He further alleged that the Centre gives BJP-ruled states more funds when compared to those which have opposition parties at the helm.
"The BJP-ruled state governments get their dues from the Centre on account of the taxes it levies, but Bengal remains deprived," Ghosh said, iterating TMC's allegation that the Union government metes out a "step-motherly treatment" to the Mamata Banerjee government.