CHENNAI: Condemning another hike in excise duty on petrol and diesel, the Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on Sunday termed the move as unfair and urged the Central government to withdraw this hike immediately. She also demanded that the entire excise duty hike in the past 13 months should be withdrawn so that petrol and diesel would be available to the people cheap. That would also pave way for economic buoyancy in the nation.
"The Central government should give up its narrow perspective that excise duty should be levied on petrol and diesel to bring down the revenue deficit. Instead, the Centre should have a long term vision keeping in mind the overall economic growth of the country and withdraw this hike immediately," the Chief Minister commented in a statement.
Jayalalithaa further said that in January alone, the Centre had hiked the excise duty on petrol by Rs 2.12 and diesel by Rs 5.50. Since November 2014, the NDA government had hiked the excise duty on petrol by Rs 11.77 and diesel by Rs 13.57.
"As on January 16, the excise duty on petrol stands at 83.59 per cent while it is 77.63 per cent for diesel. If the hike in excise duty is taken as the amount that should be deducted from the basic price of these fuels, then the overall excise duty on petrol and diesel will stand at 91 per cent. Levying such exorbitant excise duty is not acceptable," she added.
"Though many State governments had hiked their sales tax following the Central government's move, the government headed by me has not taken any such step. That is why, the sales tax on petrol and diesel remains the lowest in Tamil Nadu when compared to the other southern States," she commented in her press note.