As Prime Minister Narendra Modi raised fuel prices in many opposition -controlled states including Rajasthan, Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Wednesday said the PM was “mistakenly saying Bhopal, referring to Jaipur” as more expensive petrol and diesel in BJP -ruled Madhya Pradesh.
The Congress leader also said the Rajasthan government reduced VAT on diesel and petrol by three times, resulting in an annual revenue loss of about Rs 6,300 crore ”but the PM only mentioned a revenue loss of 6,000 crore Karnataka and Rs 3500-4000 Gujarat crore (both state ruled by BJP) “.
He claimed that the Center earned about Rs 26 lakh crore from excise duty in eight years which, he said, was the highest amount earned by any dispensation in the history of the country by imposing taxes on petrol and diesel.
The PM spoke about VAT imposed by the state, but did not provide information on Central government excise, he said.
The PM in a meeting with the CM earlier in the day had urged the states to reduce VAT for the benefit of the people. He mentioned the name of the city including Jaipur and the price of fuel there.
After the review meeting, the CM said that Mr Modi claimed that excise duties had been reduced by the Central government but many states did not reduce VAT, which resulted in the exemption not being handed over to the public.
“The PM took the name Jaipur but wanted to give the message only to the states ruled by the BJP because even today the price of petrol and diesel in Bhopal is higher than in Jaipur. Maybe he was wrong to say ‘Bhopal’, he mentioned ‘Jaipur’,” he said. in a statement.
Mr Gehlot said the Rajasthan government had reduced VAT by two per cent on petrol and diesel on January 29, 2021, while the Center did not reduce excise duties at that time.
“Two days later in the 2021-22 budget, the Government of India imposed a new cess of Rs 4 on diesel and Rs 2.5 per liter on petrol in the name of Infrastructure and Agricultural Development because of that, the people of Rajasthan could not get it.the benefit of VAT reduction of 2 per cent.
“On November 4, 2021, the federal government has reduced the excise duty on petrol by Rs 5 and diesel by Rs 10 per liter while during the closure in May 2020, the government has increased the excise duty on petrol by Rs 10 and diesel by Rs 13. per liter, meaning the total the increased excise duty in Covid has not been fully reduced, ”he said.
He said the states VAT is levied on the Central excise duty, therefore, by reducing the excise duty, VAT will automatically be reduced.
For this reason, due to the reduction of excise duty on November 4, 2021, the Rajasthan government’s VAT was automatically reduced by Rs 1.80 per liter for petrol and Rs 2.60 per liter for diesel, he said.
“To give relief to the people, the state government on November 17, 2021 has reduced the VAT on petrol by 4.96 per cent and diesel by 6.70 per cent. As a result of the three-fold reduction by the state government, there is a loss of revenue of about Rs 6,300 crore a year, but The PM only mentioned a revenue loss of 6,000 crore Karnataka and Rs 3500-4000 crore Gujarat, ”Mr Gehlot said.
He said that Mr Modi might mention these two states in view of the upcoming assembly elections there.
“In May 2014, when Modi became the Prime Minister, the excise duty was Rs 9.20 per liter on petrol and Rs 3.46 per liter on diesel, but today the excise duty is Rs 27.90 per liter on petrol and Rs 21.80 per liter on diesel. During the period that. The UPA government, the states used to get their share of excise duty, but now the share of the states continues to be reduced to just a few paise per liter so that the states have to raise their VAT, ”he said.
During Mr Modi’s rule, the average price of crude oil in the international market was USD 61 per barrel, and even then petrol was sold at more than Rs 110 and diesel at more than Rs 100 per liter, he said.
During the UPA government, the price of crude oil was USD 100 per barrel but, petrol was not allowed to be expensive, he added.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)