Truth hurts, says Union minister as Uddhav govt slams PM's take on fuel prices
Union minister Hardeep Singh Puri said the Maharashtra government has collected over ₹79,000 crore as fuel taxes and is likely to collect another ₹33,000 crore this year and asked why it did not reduce VAT on petrol and fuel to provide relief to people.
Union minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Thursday hit out at the Uddhav Thackeray-led Maharashtra government for not reducing fuel prices to provide relief to citizens even while collecting taxes worth crores.
Puri’s Twitter statements came a day after Maharashtra and other non BJP-ruled states called out Prime Minister Narendra Modi for blaming the governments there for high fuel prices during a Covid-19 review meeting with chief ministers.
The Union minister for petroleum and natural gas said the Maharashtra government has collected over ₹79,000 crore as fuel taxes and is likely to collect another ₹33,000 crore this year. He asked why the Maharashtra government did not reduce VAT (value-added tax) on petrol and fuel to provide relief to people. “The truth hurts, but facts speak for themselves,” Puri wrote.
He further said petrol would be cheaper if Opposition-ruled states cut taxes on fuel instead of imported liquor. “Maharashtra govt imposes ₹32.15/ltr on petrol and Congress-ruled Rajasthan ₹29.10. But BJP ruled Uttarakhand levies only ₹14.51 & UP ₹16.50,” he further wrote.
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On Wednesday, Thackeray’s office issued a statement following the meeting with PM who said some states like Maharashtra, West Bengal, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Jharkhand and Tamil Nadu did not reduce VAT on petrol and diesel despite the excise duty cut by the Centre last November and had done "injustice" to the people by not transferring the benefits of the move to them.
The CM’s office said the Centre owed ₹26,500 crore to Maharashtra, while accusing the Centre of giving a step-motherly treatment to the western state. It further said the Maha Vikas Aghadi government (of the Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress) was not responsible for the rise in prices of petrol and diesel.