TN Govt's Sales Tax cut on diesel 'eye-wash': Jaya

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Chennai, Jun 7 (UNI) Dismissing as an ''eye-wash,'' the Tamil Nadu Government's decision to cut two per cent Sales Tax on diesel, Opposition AIADMK leader J Jayalalithaa said said the Centre should either roll back the fuel price hike or the DMK Government should bear the burden after stopping the free distribution of colour tv and gas stoves.

In a statement here, she said an extraordinary situation prevailed in the country, especially in Tamil Nadu following three to four-fold increase in prices of all commodities.

The poor and middle class people were suffering a lot and they could neither build a house nor afford to take rented house and they faced a deficit of Rs 5,000 in their family budgets, she said.

If the Centre and the state Governments were really interested in the welfare of the people, the Centre should roll back the hike or the DMK Government should stop distributing free colour tv sets and gas stoves and instead bear the burden of the hike in prices of fuel.

She said the two per cent cut was an eye-wash and drama as autorickshaw drivers and private bus operators have hiked the fares already. The prices of petrol and cooking gas remained the same and the two per cent cut was of no use to the people, she said.

The West Bengal Government had reduced the price of petrol by Rs 1.78 and diesel by Rs 1.15. Similarly, other states like Andhra Pradesh also decided not to pass on the burden of the hike in price of cooking gas to the people, she added.

Ms Jayalalithaa said when Prime Minsiter Manmohan Singh spoke to him over phone on the occasion of his birthday, Mr Karunanidhi should have asked him not to raise the prices of petroleum products.

Instead, he had pleaded him to implement the Sethusamudram Shipping Channel Project, she added.

On Mr Karunanidhi's remarks that her regime did not come forward to cut down the Sales Tax on petrol and diesel when the prices were raised, she said during her regime, prices of all commodities were under check. The situation prevailing, then and prevailing now were totally different, she said.

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