Bengal govt slashes sales tax rates of petrol,diesel

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Kolkata, Jun 4 (UNI) The West Bengal Government slashed the sales tax rates of petrol and diesel in the state from midnight tonight following the Centre's decision to hike fuel prices.

Announcing this, Finance Minister Asim Dasgupta said the sales tax on petrol had been reduced from 25 to 20 per cent and that of diesel to 12.5 from 17 per cent.

This would lower the enhanced retail price of petrol by Rs. 2.12 and that of diesel by Rs. 1.38.

''The state government, with its limited financial power, has decided to reduce the sales taxes to mitigate the burden of the hiked price of petrol and diesel. With this, the state will incur a revenue loss of Rs. 500 crore,'' the minister said following a meeting with Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee.

Dr Dasgupta said the sales tax of LPG had earlier been reduced from 12.5to 4 per cent but it was not taken into consideration this time.

The sales tax revenue earned by the state government amounted to Rs. 9,000 crore,out of which Rs 2,000 crore was from petrol and diesel.

''With a loss of Rs 500 crore following the relief announced by the state government, the loss of revenue will now be one-fourth of the sales tax collected in this sector,'' he said.

The Centre announced an increase of Rs 5 per litre in the retail price of petrol, Rs 3 for diesel and Rs 50 for domestic LPG from midnight tonight, but left the PDS kerosene untouched.

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