Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah defends fuel price hike

The Chief Minister's defence was that Karnataka's VAT adjustment ensures the funding of essential public services and development projects.
Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah
Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah (File Photo - Nagaraja Gadekal, EPS)

A day after the Karnataka government announced a Rs 3 hike in fuel prices in the state, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah defended the move, pointing out that despite the price rise, Karnataka's fuel prices remain lower than many other states in the country.

"The Government of Karnataka has increased VAT on petrol to 29.84% and on diesel to 18.44%. Even after this hike, our state’s taxes on fuel remain lower than most South Indian states and similar economy-sized states like Maharashtra." Siddaramaiah wrote on' X', formerly Twitter.

Siddaramaiah pointed out that in Maharashtra, the VAT on petrol is 25% with an additional tax of Rs 5.12, and on diesel, it is 21%. He emphasized that even after the recent hike, Karnataka's revised rates are still more affordable in comparison.

The Chief Minsiter explained that Karnataka's VAT adjustment ensures the funding of essential public services and development projects. He reaffirmed the state's commitment to maintaining balanced and responsible governance.

He added that despite the VAT hike, diesel prices in Karnataka remain lower than those in Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh. Siddaramaiah reiterated the state government's commitment to keeping fuel prices reasonable for the citizens of Karnataka.

Siddaramaiah attacked the BJP, accusing the central government of manipulating VAT adjustments in the past. He alleged that during the BJP's governance, both at the state and central levels, efforts were made to divert Karnataka's resources to other states.

Siddaramaiah claimed that while the state BJP government consistently lowered VAT on petrol and diesel, the Central government simultaneously increased taxes, resulting in reduced revenue for Karnataka and increased revenue for the Central government. According to him, this approach disadvantaged the people of Karnataka.

"The then Double Engine BJP government collaborated to divert Karnataka's resources to other states. The state BJP govt kept reducing VAT on petrol and diesel while the Central govt increased its own taxes. This manipulation led to reduced revenue for Karnataka, while the Central government collected more for its coffers, cheating Kannadigas," he wrote.

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