Chances of petrol prices being slashed in Uttar Pradesh have dimmed as the state government has declined to reduce its Value Added Tax (VAT).
Chief minister Akhilesh Yadav told the state assembly on Tuesday that the tax system in the state was structured, keeping in mind its financial needs, and hence it need not be disturbed.
Legislators had demanded the state government should follow the Congress-ruled states like Kerala, Uttarakhand and Delhi, which have reduced the VAT, bringing down the petrol prices.
There is 17.23% VAT on diesel and 26.55 percent VAT on petrol in Uttar Pradesh. Congress state president, Rita Bahuguna Joshi, had demanded from the state government that VAT be slashed in the state.
After the chief minister's refusal to cut the VAT, opposition parties lashed out at the Samajwadi Party (SP) government and accused it of paying lip service to the woes of the people.
Bharatiya Janata Party's state unit president Laxmikant Bajpayi said the SP has called for a state-wide shutdown on May 31, but was hesitating in "doing what was possible."
The Congress said the hike in petrol price was forced by the volatile situation in international oil market and that the state governments could cut the VAT to bring down the price.
"When the governments in three states can do it, then why not UP?" Bahuguna Joshi asked.