New Delhi: The Delhi BJP on Saturday staged a dharna near Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s residence at Flagstaff Road here, demanding cut in value added tax (VAT) on petrol and diesel.
Leading the protesters, Delhi BJP president Adesh Gupta said that the party workers will continue the agitation unless Kejriwal announces reduction in VAT on petrol and diesel.
“The Kejriwal government is not bothered about common man and that is the reason it’s paying no attention on prices of petrol and diesel,” he claimed.
There is a huge price difference now between the BJP-ruled states and Delhi ruled by the AAP. The Kejriwal government should also now announce reduction in VAT on petrol and diesel without any delay, Gupta stated.
The central government on Wednesday cut excise duty on petrol by Rs 5 per litre and that on diesel by Rs 10 a litre to give reprieve to consumers battered by record high retail fuel prices.
Since states charge local sales tax or VAT not just on the base price but also on the excise duty levied by the centre, the total incidence of price reduction is higher.
Petrol now costs Rs 103.97 per litre in Delhi against Rs 110.04 per litre, according to a price notification of state-owned fuel retailers.
Days after the Centre slashed excise duty on petrol and diesel, Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia on Saturday said the AAP government is looking into steps it can take to provide more relief to the people.
He, however, demanded that the central government should reduce the prices of these fuels by at least Rs 15 each, saying states have fewer resources.
Sisodia was responding to the question whether the Delhi government was considering a reduction in Value Added Tax (VAT) on diesel and petrol like other states.
In the last three-four years, fuel prices have gone down across the globe but the central government did not let this happen in the county, he alleged.
It kept increasing excise duty on globally reduced fuel prices, Sisodia added.
“In the last few years, they have increased excise duty on fuel prices from Rs 15 per litre to Rs 34 per litre even as petrol (fuel) prices were going down. After reducing a few paisa on fuel prices, they are asking state governments to reduce (VAT). States already have less resources.
“We are examining what impact it will have on Delhi and what Delhi (government) can do. But I request the central government to reduce petrol and diesel prices by at least Rs 15 each to give further relief to the public,” Sisodia said.
The central government on Wednesday reduced excise duty by Rs 5 per litre on petrol and Rs 10 per litre on Diesel.
Following the reduction in excise duty by the Centre, several state governments, including Uttar Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh among others, have slashed VAT rates on fuel.