While the latest petrol price hike threatens to throw household budgets in disarray across the country, the governments of Uttarakhand and Kerala have sought to provide some relief.
While the week-old BC Khanduri government of Uttarakhand waived the VAT, bringing down petrol prices in the state by 78 paise per litre, the Oommen Chandy-led UDF government announced it would let go of its additional sales tax revenue of Rs 108 crore on account of petrol sales.
Khanduri has announced a complete waiver of the state’s share of 25% of VAT.
"We will make every effort to extend relief to the common man from the rising prices," the CM said.
Following the Centre's move to hike petrol prices, the state was due to get 78 paise per litre as its share of 25% of VAT. Petrol had become R3.14 costlier after the recent hike.
The opposition in the hill city, however, sees the waiver as a politically motivated decision. Congress spokesperson Surendra Arya said, "The government should waive the whole tax on petrol if it really wants to provide relief to people."
"The prices have been increased by the Centre and the blame cannot be shifted to states," said Mukesh Mahindra, spokeperson of the ruling BJP.
While addressing the media on the sidelines of a function in Kozhikode, Chandy said, "The present price hike will earn Kerala additional sales tax revenue of R108 crore, which will be waived. This will result in lowering of the petrol price by 70 paise in the state”.
Chandy also urged the opposition to withdraw its ongoing agitation against the hike, which saw three government vehicles being torched in the last two days.
(With agency inputs)