On Thursday, Hardeep Singh Puri, the Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas, slammed the non-NDA-ruled states for not slashing VAT on fuel prices to provide relief to the public despite a call from Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He said that the states of West Bengal, Maharashtra, and Delhi imposed heavy Value Added Taxes (VAT) on petrol, diesel, and Aviation Turbine Fuel.
He stated that the prices of petrol will be cheaper in the opposition-ruled states if the state governments levy less VAT on fuel prices. He also said that the states charged more than 25 percent of VAT on Aviation Turbine Fuel (ATF) and that was the only reason why the air ticket prices hadn’t come down. “Ever wondered why air ticket prices haven’t come down? ATF constitutes about 40 percent of the cost of airline operations. But West Bengal, Maharashtra, and Delhi impose massive 25% plus VAT on ATF while BJP states UP and Nagaland and UT of Jammu and Kashmir charge just 1 percent”, he said.
“Such hypocrisy of opposition ruled states. PM Modi Ji ensures affordable air travel to common citizens with his vision of ‘Hawai Chappal see Hawai Jahaj tak’ but these states create impediments. They manufacture protests against ‘oil prices’ but fleece the people to fill their coffers”, he added on Twitter.
Such hypocrisy of opposition ruled states.— Hardeep Singh Puri (@HardeepSPuri) April 28, 2022
PM Modi Ji ensures affordable air travel to common citizens with his vision of ‘हवाई चप्पल से हवाई जहाज़ तक’ but these states create impediments. They manufacture protests against ‘oil prices’ but fleece the people to fill their coffers.
Sharing the data further, the Minister said that the BJP ruled state levied less VAT on petrol and diesel, and due to that the prices of the fuel were under control there. “VAT on petrol and diesel in the BJP-ruled states are in the range of Rs 14.50 to Rs 17.50 per liter while taxes levied by states ruled by other parties are in the range of Rs 26 to Rs 32 per liter. The difference is clear. Their intent is only to protest and criticize, not extend relief to the people,” he tweeted.
BJP ruled States have a VAT on petrol & diesel in the range of ₹14.50 to ₹17.50 /ltr, while taxes levied by states ruled by other parties are in the range of ₹26 to ₹32 /ltr. The difference is clear. Their intent is only to protest & criticise, not extend relief to the people— Hardeep Singh Puri (@HardeepSPuri) April 28, 2022
Puri meanwhile specifically attacked the Uddhav Thackeray-led Maharashtra government and said that the government should have thought about imposing fewer taxes on fuel instead of slashing the excise duty by 50 percent on imported liquor from 300 percent to 150 percent in November last year. He said that the alliance government of Shiv Sena, NCP, and Congress collects Rs 32.15 taxes per liter on petrol.
It is important to note that PM Narendra Modi on Wednesday raised the issue of high fuel prices in Opposition-ruled states during a Covid review meeting with the Chief Ministers. He said that the Centre had slashed the VAT on fuel but some states had not for some reason. He requested Maharashtra, West Bengal, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Jharkhand to cut taxes to provide relief to people. However, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi said that the Centre should reduce excise duty.
Launching a verbal attack on the opposition, Puri said on April 28 that protests cannot change the facts. “The truth hurts, but facts speak for themselves. Maharashtra government has collected Rs 79,412 crore as fuel taxes since 2018 and is expected to collect 33,000 cr this year. Why did it not reduce VAT on petrol and diesel to provide relief to people?”, he said.
Reports mention that the BJP-ruled states levy less Value Added Tax on fuel prices. Uttarakhand levies only Rs 14.51 and Uttar Pradesh Rs 16.50. In Haryana, 18 percent VAT is collected on petrol and 16 on diesel which is among the lowest.