Fuel price: War escalates as Opposition ruled States hit back at PM
New Delhi, Apr 28: The Opposition are now using sharp words in what is seen an escalation of tensions between the Opposition ruled states and the Centre on the fuel prices hike.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had told off states that were not cutting taxes to reduce the prices of petrol and diesel during a meeting with the Chief Ministers held on Wednesday.
Telangana Chief Minister, K Chandrasekhar Rao asserted that there had been no hike in fuel prices in his state since 2015. Why can't the Centre cut taxes instead of asking States. The Centre has not only enhanced taxes, but it also collects cess. If you have the guts, explain the enhanced taxes Rao also said.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said that he government had spent Rs 1,500 crore in the last three years to subsidise petrol and diesel prices. The PM has delivered a completely one-sided and misleading speech. The facts shared by him were wrong and we have been providing subsidy of Rs 1 on every litre of petrol and diesel for the past three years, she said.
Banerjee also added that they have dues of Rs 97,000 crore with the Centre. The day we get half of the amount we are ready to give Rs 3,000 crore petrol and diesel subsidy, she added. I have no problem with subsidy, but how do I run my government, she asked, while adding that during Wednesday's meeting the Chief Ministers had no scope to speak.
On the PM praising BJP ruled states like Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat, Banerjee said that these states get good financial aid from the Centre. Her party, Trinamool Congress lashed out at the PM on Twitter and said, "Mr @narendramodi, it was your HEINOUS AGENDA to shame states today. What is the Centre doing to reduce the burden of people? What measures are being taken to curb the rising prices of essential commodities? DON'T BULLDOZE DEMOCRAZY. Take lessons from us!"
"Today, in the price of one litre of diesel in Mumbai, ₹ 24.38 is for the Centre and ₹ 22.37 is for the state. In petrol price, 31.58 paise is central tax and 32.55 paise state tax. Therefore, it is not a fact that petrol and diesel have become more expensive due to the state," Maharashtra Chief Minister, Uddhav Thackeray said.
The PM on Wednesday said that a few states who could not reduce prices last November, should do it now. He said that states like Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Telangana, Kerala,Maharashtra and Jharkhand did not reduce tax on fuel and should do it now.
Had Karnataka not reduced its tax on petrol and diesel, the state government would have earned an additional revenue of Rs 5,000 crore, the PM said.
While the Opposition parties criticised the PM, Union Minister Hardeep Puri took to Twitter and revealed statistics while questioning why Maharashtra did not reduce VAT on petrol and diesel to provide relief to the people.
The truth hurts, but facts speak for themselves. Maharashtra Govt has collected ₹79,412 crore as fuel taxes since 2018 & is expected to collect 33,000 cr this year. (Adding up to a whopping ₹1,12,757 cr).
Why did it not reduce VAT on petrol & diesel to provide relief to people, Puri said in a tweet.
"Petrol will be cheaper if opposition ruled states cut taxes on fuel instead of imported liquor! Maharashtra govt imposes ₹ 32.15/litre on petrol and Congress-ruled Rajasthan ₹ 29.10. But BJP-ruled Uttarakhand levies only ₹ 14.51 and Uttar Pradesh ₹ 16.50. Protests cannot challenge facts, " Puri also said.