Fuel prices in Karnataka lower than BJP-ruled states: Siddaramaiah

Siddaramaiah criticised Union Minister for Steel and Heavy Industries HD Kumaraswamy for giving a call to the people to revolt against the state government.
Siddaramaiah
Siddaramaiah

BENGALURU: Hitting out at BJP leaders for protesting against the state government for increasing sales tax on petrol and diesel by Rs 3 per litre, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Monday said they should protest against the NDA government at the Centre under Prime Minister Narendra Modi for creating an environment where it has become inevitable for the state to increase taxes.

“Fuel prices in our state are lower than BJP-ruled states even after sales tax hike on petrol and diesel. Had the state received its tax share from the Centre on time, it would have not hiked the sales tax on petrol and diesel,” the CM told reporters.

He said, “During the UPA rule under Dr Manmohan Singh, the price of crude oil in the international market was $113 per barrel. Although this price halved in 2015, Modi did not show any concern to bring down the fuel prices and reduce the burden on people. When Modi came to power, the Central Excise duty on petrol was Rs 9.48. It was increased to Rs 32.98 in May 2020. Who should the BJP fight against?”

BJP politicising fuel price hike, says CM

Siddaramaiah criticised Union Minister for Steel and Heavy Industries HD Kumaraswamy for giving a call to the people to revolt against the state government. He said, “Being a central minister, Kumaraswamy gave such a call (to revolt). Did he protest against BJP over price rise when JDS was not its ally?”

After the GST system came into force, the states could not mobilise adequate resources. They have to depend on the Centre for their share of tax money. The states now depend only on registration and stamp duty, vehicle tax, sales tax on petrol, diesel and liquor,” he said.

Siddaramaiah alleged that the BJP is politicising the hike in fuel prices. “In April-May, I could not review the revenue target because MCC was in force for LS elections. I reviewed the same this month and we will certainly reach the target,” he said.

The CM hit back at Leader of Opposition in the Assembly R Ashoka for his statement that the state government has gone bankrupt and hiked the sales tax on petrol and diesel to fund the guarantee schemes. He said, “The government is spending Rs 60,000 crore on the guarantee schemes. The increase in sales tax on diesel and petrol will generate only Rs 3,000 crore. How can they (BJP leaders) say the government is bankrupt? Have we stopped the salaries of employees or stopped grants to the schemes announced in the budget?”

‘No bus fare hike’

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said that his government will not hike KSRTC and BMTC bus fares. “We have no plans to hike the bus fares now,” he added.

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