Petrol price in Uttarakhand has been increased by Rs 5.12 per litre to boost revenue, an official said on Wednesday. The duty hike, which was notified late on Tuesday, will bring in additional revenue of Rs 30 crore, said state chief secretary Rakesh Sharma.
The new price of petrol in the state is Rs 67 per litre after the increase. Until Tuesday, petrol was available for Rs 62. Interacting with media persons, Sharma said the step was necessary to overcome the revenue losses.
“We have standardised the overall tax to Rs 17 per litre. The base price of petrol was Rs 50 and value added tax was Rs 12.5 at 25%. Now the tax will be calculated flat at Rs 17 per litre...,” he said.
“The government needs funds to sustain welfare scheme.”
Until the last financial year, the state had earned Rs 400 crore per annum from the tax on petroleum products but it came down substantially this year after the prices dipped, Sharma said.
“We will now be getting more than rs 430 crore per year after the standardized tax on petrol.”
He further said that the price of diesel was left untouched for the benefit of farmers but they might be increased in the future.
Even as the government justified the hike, the people reacted sharply.
“The step by the Congress government is going to be counterproductive in the next state election” said Yogeshwar Bhardwaj, a Dehradun resident.
Balbir Singh Rawat, another resident said: “Fund management in the government is a science, in a political party it is an art and at home a necessity.
“The government seems to be confused and has mixed all in a weird fashion.”
The opposition BJP slammed the hike, saying it was a back-door increase.
After an increase in the land registration fee, the government has given a jolt to people by increasing fuel price, party spokesman Prakash Suman Dhyani said in a statement.
“The Congress government has cheated the voters. The government presented tax-free budget this year and now it has imposed tax through the back-door,” he said.