A day after the Centre brought down prices of petrol and diesel by Rs 5 and Rs 10 respectively, the state’s opposition BJP has slammed the Maharashtra government for not bringing down the state’s value added tax (VAT) on petroleum products that could bring further relief to people. The ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) alliance responded saying BJP reduced prices only after the latter’s loss in the recent bypolls held in many states.
BJP spokesperson Keshav Upadhye said on Thursday the state should follow the example of the BJP-ruled states and bring down the prices of petroleum products by reducing the state VAT. “The state should also reduce the prices of petrol and diesel as much as the Centre has done, and in fact it should go for a further Rs 5 reduction in VAT as this was raised in the last two years by the state,” said Upadhye.
Bhagwat Karad, Union minister of state for finance, said he would be speaking to Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray and deputy chief minister and finance minister Ajit Pawar to reduce the state’s taxes on diesel and petrol by Rs 7.
The MVA claims the BJP government at the Centre ‘was forced to reduce’ the prices of petroleum products due to the loss in the recent bypolls. “This reduction has come after the recent loss in the bypolls. The international prices of petroleum products are still lower than what the Centre is charging us under the new rates. The BJP has also reduced the prices considering the upcoming elections,” said NCP minister Nawab Malik.
Malik said if people continue to vote against the BJP, prices of petroleum products would come down further.
Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut also echoed the sentiment. “They have raised the prices of petroleum products to Rs 100 and then they have brought it down by Rs 5. They (Centre) should have brought it down by at least Rs 25. If the people want petrol and diesel cheaper by another Rs 50, then the BJP should be voted out.”
Maharashtra’s minister of state for home Shambhuraj Desai said the decision to bring down prices would be taken in the Cabinet after looking at the state’s financial situation.
Maharashtra’s revenue minister Balasaheb Thorat claimed that the Centre is yet to pay Rs 50,000 crore in GST dues to the state.