Former Orissa Fin Minister calls for VAT, ST reduction

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Bhubaneswar,Jun 5 (UNI) Former Orissa Finance Minister Panchanan Kanungo today urged Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to reduce the VAT and sales tax on petroleum products to lessen the burden of the consumers.

In a statement here, Mr Kanungo said if the BJD-BJP government has been seriously thinking about the condition of the people, majority of whom were not in a position to spend even Rs 12 per day, they should forthwith go for reduction of VAT and Sales Tax to reduce the burden of steep hike of petroleum products by the UPA government.

Describing the unprecedented hike of petrol, diesel and LPG as ''unfortunate and anti-people,'' the former Finance Minister said reduction of excise duty and subsidy in other fields would have been a wise step for the Centre to cope with the present situation.

Mr Kanungo said if the Orissa government was really concerned for the people of the state, it must reduce the VAT and the Sales tax so that there would be a reduction of 7.5 paisa per rupee in the prices of petroleum products.

While the petrol per litre would come down to Rs.47 against the hiked price of Rs 51.62,the diesel would be available at the rate of Rs35 as against the current price of Rs 39. Such a step would also help reduce the prices of the LPG,he claimed.

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