PMK asks UPA to rethink hike in LPG, seeks ST cut from DMK Govt

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Chennai, Jun 4 (UNI) Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) Founder-Leader S Ramadoss today urged the UPA Government at the Centre to reconsider its decision on hiking the price of cooking gas and demanded the DMK Government reduce the Sales Tax on petrol and diesel in the wake of Centre hiking the prices.

In a statement here, he said the Centre had hiked the prices of petrol and diesel following steep hike in the price of crude oil in the international market. But its decision to increase the price of cooking gas by Rs 50 was not acceptable.

The Centre sparing kerosene from the price hike was satisfactory but the decision to hike the cooking gas price would hit the middle class people and urged the Centre to reconsider its decision.

Dr Ramadoss, whose party is a constituent of UPA Government, said though the high price of crude in the international market was stated to be the reason for price hike, the prices of petrol and diesel comprised largely Central and State taxes.

Realising this, the Centre had come forward to reduce the Customs Duty on petrol and diesel to 2.5 per cent, while exempting Customs Duty on crude, he said.

Similarly, the DMK Government, on its part, should substantially reduce the Sales Tax on petrol and diesel and prevent the danger of rise in prices of other commodities.

Stating the State Government levied 30 per cent Sales Tax on petrol and 25 per cent on diesel, he said Tamil Nadu was stated to top the list of states levying higher Sales Tax.

Last time, when the prices of petroleum products were hiked, the State Government did not levy tax on the enhanced rate. This time, the government should reduce the tax by a substantial level.

The Left ruling states have come forward to reduce the tax when CPI(M) leaders appealed to the Chief Ministers. The DMK Government should follow suit, Dr Ramadoss suggested.

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