Congress-ruled Punjab has refused to toe the line of BJP-ruled states on fuel price cut. On Thursday, Union finance minister Arun Jaitley had announced that the Centre had slashed excise duty on petrol and diesel by ₹ 1.5 per litre and a ₹1 per litre cut by oil marketing companies (OMCs). Jaitley had asked states to match this cut in rates by bringing down their VAT on petrol and diesel.
State finance minister Manpreet Singh Badal has dubbed the Centre’s move as ‘too clever by half’. As many as 12 BJP-governed states reduced their VAT by ₹2.5 a litre to bring prices down by ₹5 a litre. But Punjab, which charges the highest VAT of 35% on petrol in north India, has said the states cannot be asked to match the Centre’s cut.
“If I can calculate, both the cuts will hit the revenue of states too. After reaping a windfall and hiking excise duty several times since it came to power, the Government of India has made a meagre cut in excise duty and not special excise duty or additional excise duty in which states have no share. All states will also share the burden of excise cut and lose 63 paisa per litre,” Manpreet said. Read More
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