Coercive, not co-operative: Rahul Gandhi on PM Modi's fuel tax appeal to states

By | Written by Poulomi Ghosh
Apr 28, 2022 10:56 AM IST

As PM Modi held a meeting of the chief ministers on Wednesday to review the Covid-19 situation, he broached the issue of petrol, diesel tax and asked states to reduce their tax on the lines of Centre's waiver that was done last year. 

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Thursday slammed Prime Minister Modi's 'swipe' at the states for not reducing petrol, diesel taxes and said 68% of all fuel taxes are taken by the Centre but the PM blames the state. Be it the high fuel price, coal shortage or oxygen shortage, the Centre passes the buck to the states, as Modi's "federalism is not cooperative", it's "coercive", Rahul Gandhi said.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said the Centre always abdicates responsibility, be it oxygen shortage, coal shortage or high fuel price. 
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said the Centre always abdicates responsibility, be it oxygen shortage, coal shortage or high fuel price. 

Truth hurts, says Union minister as Uddhav govt slams PM's take on fuel prices

Talking about Centre-state cooperation, PM Modi gave the example of petrol, diesel tax and said some states reduced their VAT on fuel after Centre waived the tax last year. But some states did not, which is an injustice to their people and also to the states which have reduced the tax. Naming Maharashtra, West Bengal, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and Jharkhand, PM Modi said these states have not reduced the tax on fuel and have been earning more revenue than states like Karnataka, Gujarat which have reduced the fuel tax, thereby sacrificing their revenue.

The issue has snowballed into a massive controversy with each of the states named by PM Modi disagreeing with the claims PM Modi made. Union minister Hardeep Singh Puri countered the states and said petrol will be cheaper if opposition-ruled states cut taxes on fuel instead of imported liquor, taking a swipe at Maharashtra. "BJP ruled States have a VAT on petrol & diesel in the range of 14.50 to 17.50 /ltr, while taxes levied by states ruled by other parties are in the range of 26 to 32 /ltr. The difference is clear. Their intent is only to protest & criticise, not extend relief to the people," the Union minister said.

 

To this, Sena leader, Rajya Sabha MP Priyanka Chaturvedi said the Centre is yet to give 78.704 crore GST compensation to the states.

Telangana minister KT Rama Rao said fuel prices have shot up because of the NPA central government. "Name-calling states for not reducing VAT even though we never increased it; is this the co-operative federalism you're talking about @narendramodi ji? Telangana hasn't increased VAT on fuel since 2014 & rounded off only once," the minister said.

West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee said her government spent 1,500 crore in the last three years to subsidise petrol and diesel prices in the state. "PM Narendra Modi has delivered a completely one-sided and misleading speech. Facts shared by him were wrong. We have been providing a subsidy of Re 1 on every litre of petrol and diesel for the last three years. We've spent 1,500 crore on this," Mamata said after Wednesday's meeting.

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