MUMBAI: Maharashtra Congress president Nana Patole on Sunday described the central government's move of slashing excise duty on fuel as a mere "eyewash" and said if it really wanted to provide relief to people, then it should reduce the price of LPG cylinder to Rs 400 and also restore subsidy on it.
The Centre on Saturday announced a record Rs 8 per litre cut in excise duty on petrol and Rs 6 reduction on diesel.
"If the Modi government is honest, then the unjust increase in excise duty imposed since 2014 should be withdrawn," Patole said.
He accused the Centre of fooling people by first increasing the LPG prices by Rs 700 and then reducing them by Rs 200.
"If the Modi government has a sincere desire to save the common man from inflation, then the price of a gas cylinder should be reduced to Rs 400 and subsidy on it should be restored. If it is really sincere and wants to give relief to people, then the unjust increase in fuel tax imposed since 2014 should be reduced," he added.
BJP leaders in Maharashtra are making "wrong and misleading" statements by demanding that the state government reduce its share of taxes on the fuel, he alleged.
"The states' share is Value Added Tax (VAT) and as soon as the central government reduces prices, the VAT automatically decreases. For every one rupee reduced by the Centre, 41 paise belongs to the state. That means about Rs 4 on the Rs 9.5 relief on petrol belongs to the state. About Rs 3 of the Rs 7 per litre cut in diesel belongs to the state government," he claimed.
The Congress leader accused the Modi government of looting the public by imposing various cess, like road development cess, agricultural development cess.
The state gets its share of excise duty, but does not get its share of cess, he said.
"On the one hand, by reducing the excise duty, the central government is trying to create financial difficulties for the state, while on the other hand, it is robbing the people by imposing cess. This dual taxation should be stopped immediately," Patole demanded.