MUMBAI: Amid a demand that states need to reduce tax considering the rise in petrol, diesel prices, Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar on Thursday said the Centre, too, should bring down tax to provide a relief to people.
Speaking to media persons here, Pawar noted that the Centre's tax is higher than the states.
Pawar, who is state Finance Minister, made the comment while replying to a question whether the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government was thinking about reducing tax on fuel in line with some other states which have done so.
"We have to run the state. We don't want to impose a new tax. Rather, we have reduced Rs 1,000 crore tax on gas (CNG and PNG). We have in a way helped women, light motor vehicles and auto rickshaw drivers," he said.
"Now, some people are saying that the state should also reduce tax on petrol and diesel. The Centre, too, should reduce the tax then. Its tax is more than what is imposed by us," he added.
AIMIM leader Imtiaz Jaleel had on Wednesday asked why NCP chief Sharad Pawar did not show "urgency" to discuss with Prime Minister Narendra Modi the issue of his party minister Nawab Malik's arrest while immediately raising the issue of central agencies' action against Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut.
Jaleel had made the remark after the NCP president met Modi in Delhi and raised the issues of ED attaching properties linked to Raut and 12 MLCs to be nominated from Maharashtra Governor's quota.
Asked about Jaleel's comment, the deputy chief minister, without naming the AIMIM leader, termed the allegation as "wrong".
Ajit Pawar also alleged that some people were deliberately creating confusion by distorting the news about the meeting.
"Pawar saheb himself spoke about the meeting with the prime minister in a press conference held yesterday. It is my guess that, looking at Pawar saheb's style of working, he may have spoken to the prime minister on major issues," he added.
Ajit Pawar also said he had spoken to the NCP president over phone after he learnt about the meeting on Wednesday.
"Pawar saheb said he spoke to Modi on all important issues. He told this to me and (state Home Minister) Dilip Walse Patil," Ajit Pawar added.
Meanwhile, Marathi actress Asawari Joshi joined the NCP in the presence of the deputy chief minister here on Thursday.