Dhumal refused to lower sales tax on petroleum products

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Una, Jun 10 (UNI) Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal today refused to lower the sales tax on petroleum products, saying it were already the lowest in the country at 14 pe cent.

Addressing mediapersons at the Indira stadium, he said the state government can only subsidise the petroleum prices if the Union Government gives a special package to the hill state.

Mr Dhumal said, as per the Union Government norms, the state governments can levy 20 per cent sales tax on petroleum products, while Himachal Pradesh is only charging 14 per cent tax on these items.

Even the CPI(M) government in West Bengal has reduced the sales tax from 20 to 16 per cent, he asserted Talking about the electricity rates, he said the prevailing domestic tariff of 90 paise per unit was the lowest in the country and that Uttaranchal, which was the second cheapest state in power tariff was charging Rs two per unit for domestic consumption.

The Chief Minister said the state government was already providing a subsidy of Rs 140 crore annually towards the power consumption sector, despite a MoU between the state government and the World bank for imposing a ban on subsidies in this sector.

Replying to a question, he said the matter regarding appointment of chairpersons of various boards and corporations was being discussed with the party high command and that appointments would be made gradually as and when clearance was received from the high command.

Mr Dhumal said Una district would get its share of representation in the cabinet of ministers.

UNI XC AS HS VN1935

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