The Uttar Pradesh government on Saturday lowered petrol prices by Rs 1 a litre, diesel by Rs 1.50 a litre and LPG by Rs 11.35 a cylinder but said the decision to absorb the fuel hike would have a bearing on its developmental schemes, some of which may have to be shut down.
Sales tax on petrol was reduced by 2.38 per cent and on diesel by 4.84 per cent while value-added tax of 4 per cent on cooking gas was done away at a Cabinet meeting presided over by Chief Minister Mayawati.
"The decision to buffer the fuel hike means an additional burden of Rs 2,500 crore on the state exchequer and it will have a bearing on development schemes for the poor. Some might have to be closed down," Mayawati told a news conference in Lucknow.
She also announced not to raise the fares of UP Roadways buses in order to off-set the petro hike "as it is the common man's mode of transport. This would, however, result in an additional burden of Rs 120 crore".
On similar steps taken by Congress-ruled states following an appeal by AICC President Sonia Gandhi, Mayawati said, "the Central government is headed by the Congress. It would ensure this extra burden is met through other means clandestinely".
She said the UPA government's hiking of petroleum prices on one hand and the Delhi government bringing it down on the other "is nothing but cheap politics".
"For states such as UP where there is a non-Congress govenrment, nothing will be done," she said, adding that the state's "genuine demand" for a financial package of Rs 80,000 crore had been lying with the Centre for a year.