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Rahul Gandhi comments on fuel prices while being silent on non-reduction of VAT by Congress ruled states

Congress President Rahul Gandhi has been very active on social media attacking Modi government for soaring petrol prices for the last three months. He has been raising demands to bring petrol and diesel prices, under the ambit of GST.

आदरणीय श्री मोदीजी, आम जनता पेट्रोल-डीजल के आसमान छूते दामों से बहुत ज्यादा परेशान है.

आप कृपया पेट्रोल-डीजल को GST के दायरे में ले आइए।

— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) October 5, 2018

He tweet has come after the centre announced cut on petrol and diesel prices by Rs 2.50 per litre yesterday. This was followed by 12 BJP states, who lowering their VAT on petrol to give an effective reduction of Rs 5 per litre to the public. The centre has also asked oil marketing companies to reduce prices.

If we have a look, of the structure of prices borne by the consumer, it can be seen that both the central and State governments levy excise and VAT, respectively. This is exclusive of the commissions set by oil merchants.

Congress ruled Karnataka and Punjab have not responded to centre’s request to lower the state VAT. Punjab levies 35.12 % tax on petrol and 16.74% on diesel while Karnataka levies 30.28% on petrol and 20.23% on diesel. Previous month states like Maharashtra and Rajasthan had reduced VAT on petrol, but still, Karnataka and Punjab had refused.

Rahul Gandhi should pay heed to Congress-ruled states, who are not taking interest in providing respite to the general public. State VAT makes a large chunk of prices paid by the public for petrol and diesel and therefore, the state governments can easily give relief to the public like BJP ruled states have done.

Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan has made clear in past that bringing petrol and diesel under GST can be done if all the state governments cooperate and the process of making consensus in GST council on it is underway.

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