“I request states to reduce VAT on fuel prices in the spirit of cooperative federalism,” the PM said during the concluding remarks of his interaction with chief ministers over rising Covid cases in the country.
The Prime Minister said that the Centre had reduced excise duty last November to ease fuel prices and had also advised states to cut taxes.
“In order to reduce the burden of rising petrol and diesel prices, the central government reduced the excise duty last November. We had urged the states too to reduce their taxes. Some states reduced the tax and provided benefits to the consumers but some didn’t do so,” said PM Modi.
However, it was mostly the BJP-run states which slashed VAT by different margins last year, taking cue from the Centre. The Aam Aadmi Party government in Delhi did it much later.
Naming the opposition-ruled states, PM Modi said, “Maharashtra, West Bengal, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Jharkhand, and Tamil Nadu did not follow the advice of Central government and people in these states are burdened with price rise.”
“High fuel prices in these states is an injustice to their residents and also harmful for the neghbouring states,” PM Modi said.
In his remarks, Modi cited the example of Karnataka and Gujarat, both ruled by the BJP, saying they have suffered revenue loss of nearly Rs 5,000 crore and Rs 3,500-4,000 crore respectively by reducing VAT but they did so to help people. Their neighbouring states did not, he added.
Calling upon the opposition ruled states to act now, PM Modi said “I request these states to do now what they should have done in November. By reducing the VAT you can lower the burden faced by the residents.”
“I am not criticising anyone but am praying to you for the welfare of people of your states … I urge you to reduce VAT now even after a delay of six months to benefit people,” he said, with chief ministers of most of these states listening.
(With inputs from agencies)