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Telangana CM KCR, son KTR claim VAT on fuel prices has not been increased since they came to power. They lied: Know the truth

Honourable KCR again thundered that he never increased the VAT in Telangana except for only once when officials suggested him to round off 16 paise to 20 paise. He has asked Prime Minister Modi to feel ashamed for asking states to decrease VAT. But he was misrepresenting pretty much everything.

The Telangana Chief Minister, Honourable Kalvakuntla Chandrashekar Rao (KCR garu), in his press conference on 7th November, had emphatically claimed that he has never increased the VAT on fuel prices ever since he came to power. In his own trademark thundering style, he asserted that he didn’t increase even a single paisa VAT ever since he came to power. He even claimed that he cannot lie on this matter because if he increased it, it will be part of government records anyway. 

Ever since that has been the party line when they were criticizing the central government on fuel prices. The party line was marginally changed on April 27th, when the TRS party was celebrating its 21st formation day. Honourable KCR again thundered that he never increased the VAT in Telangana except for only once when officials suggested him to round off 16 paise to 20 paise. He has asked Prime Minister Modi to feel ashamed for asking states to decrease VAT. 

His son, the TRS party Working President, holder of multiple portfolios in the Telangana Cabinet, Mr KTR, then went on a rampage on Twitter. “Telangana hasn’t increased VAT on fuel since 2014 & rounded off only once”, he thundered. 

KTR tweet

And when Union Minister Hardeep Puri tweeted out statistics regarding taxes by the Telangana government, KTR went to the extent of pasting a graphic with a lot of numbers in it – the gist being that Telangana was charging the same VAT rate in 2014 and in 2022 too. 

The graphic shared during press conference

So now it is very natural for anyone to assume that all this information is really true, given the emphatic confidence with which father, son, daughter, and nephew are thundering this day in and day out. And then you have the compliant media which amplifies the messages of the First Family of the TRS unquestionably. 

All one has to do is a simple google search and you are flooded with results on how the Telangana government actually increased VAT in the year 2015. Since no one wants to even believe factual media reports these days, we take a look at the actual Government Orders (GO) issued back in 2015. 

On January 17th 2015, the Telangana government issued a GO increasing the tax on Petrol from the existing 31% to “31% + 2 rupees per litre”; and the VAT on Diesel from 22.25% to “22.25% + 2 rupees per litre”. 

Telangana notification

At that time, there was widespread outrage at this increase, so the order was modified to remove the 2 rupees increase but simply increased the actual tax component. On February 2, 2015, the Telangana government issued a GO increasing the tax on Petrol from the existing 31% to 35.20% and increasing the tax on Petrol from the existing 22.25% to 27%.

Telangana notification

If you are wondering how come the First Family of TRS is daring to lie so outrightly, then don’t. All political observers are very used to such outrageous statements from this family now. This arrogance stems from the fact that they enjoy a largely compliant media that is often in awe of the Family and seldom questions the family! 

There is another topic I would like to discuss here, and that is the choice of the language by the First Family of TRS. MKTR often used the term “loot” to refer to the central taxes. For example, in one of his thunderous tweets, he claims that – “In the form of Cess you are looting 11.4% from the state & we are getting only 29.6% for FY23”.

If tax by the central government is a loot, then what is a tax by the State government – a largesse? The state of Telangana has benefitted immensely from the ~4% increase in the tax because each time the price of the barrel goes up, the tax component also goes up! So, can we now call this sophisticated loot? Doesn’t the Telangana government also spend this money for the public good? 

Elsewhere, he once thundered that the central government looted 26 lakh crore rupees from the people of this country through cess and tax on fuel. Yesterday, Union Minister Shri Hardeep Puri put out a tweet telling us that Telangana earned nearly 70,000 crores in the last years through taxes The state government has also increased tax on registration of properties (a report indicates this has led to a slowdown in registration); has increased ticket charges of the state buses – Should we also start classifying this as a “loot” by the First Family of the TRS party?

KTR was recently challenged to resign if he was proved false with a statistic he put out – Telangana gave 3,65,000 crores to the Government of India but got back only 1,65,000 crores. He was referring to the fact that the Direct taxes collected by GoI from people & companies based out of Telangana was 3,65,000 crores and through 41% devolution of those taxes, the Telangana government received 1,65,000 crores. He spoke as if the Government of Telangana gave 3,65,000 crores to GoI – exposing an utter lack of understanding of taxation and devolution. His claims were proved false when works worth nearly 4,00,000 crores were shown as part of GoI initiatives. 

Bereft of issues to pick up, the First Family of TRS is resorting to emotive issues such as “We never increased taxes” or “We didn’t anything from GoI” to mislead people. With compliant media in place, they are being largely successful in spreading this message. It’s time to counter these lies with equal aggression. 

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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S. Sudhir Kumar
S. Sudhir Kumar
Obsessive eater, Compulsive sleeper, Repulsive Writer

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