Cong-BJP leaders spar over LPG price hike
WHILE THE public loses sleep over hike in cooking gas prices, political parties are using the issue to take the steam out of their adversaries. In a battle of words, Congress and Communist party and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) blamed each other for the increase, today.india Updated: Apr 09, 2006 22:23 IST
WHILE THE public loses sleep over hike in cooking gas prices, political parties are using the issue to take the steam out of their adversaries. In a battle of words, Congress and Communist party and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) blamed each other for the increase, today.
There is a mad scramble among political parties to make their adversaries face the heat on the issue. Following the tradition local leaders from various political parties engaged in the blame game. State Mahila Congress president Shobha Oza and senior Congress leader K K Mishra alleged that the hike in prices was due to the BJP-led State Government increasing entry tax in the name of VAT.
Explaining further, he said that the Union Petroleum Ministry had put all petroleum products under the purview of VAT for uniformity of prices.
The committee formed for this purpose decided that despite a loss of Rs 122 per cylinder in the form of subsidy to the Central Government the entry tax rate of 12.5 per cent would be reduced to one per cent and the Union Government would compensate the state governments for loss of revenue. However, the State Government had imposed 9.5 per cent entry tax, thus increasing the price per cylinder to Rs 24.
Divisional BJP spokesperson Govind Malu, meanwhile, blamed the Cong-led Central Government for the increase of Rs 24 in price. He alleged that the State Government was not given the authority to increase taxes on cooking gas, which had been put under the declared goods list, while the Central Government allowed gas companies to increase prices. The increase in gold-silver prices was also attributed to the speculative tendency condoned by the Central Government by fanning market forces.
Communists, not to be left behind, accused the State Government for the increase and demanded that the hiked entry tax be rolled back immediately. Communist Party of India (M) Kailash Limbodia said that the Rs 24 increase in price was imposed on the public despite the fact that VAT should have brought uniformity and reduced prices.