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W Bengal to cut taxes if Centre takes initiative

If the Centre accepts the proposal, the state Govt will consider lowering taxes on petrol and diesel, Sources said.

india Updated: Jun 14, 2006 22:44 IST

West Bengal government on Wednesday said it would consider reduction in taxes on petrol and diesel only if the Centre reduced excise duty on these products.

Replying to calling attention motions by Opposition Congress and Trinamool Congress in the Assembly, Industry Minister Nirupam Sen said that there was a proposal that the Centre reduce excise duties on oil imports.

If the Centre accepts the proposal, the state government will consider lowering the taxes on petrol and diesel, although the state has limited revenue resources, Sen said.

Earlier, Congress legislature party leader Manas Bhuinya said taxes on petrol and diesel in West Bengal were 12.49 and 6.74 per cent respectively, while there was an additional cess of Rupee one per litre on both petrol and diesel.

Pointing out that annual sale of petrol was 2.10 crore litre and that of diesel 10.50 crore litre, he said the state earned Rs 1,136 crore annually from oil sales.

Stating that Maharashtra has already reduced taxes on oil, while Andhra Pradesh and Delhi were in the process of doing so, Bhuinya said that West Bengal's Left Front, instead of staging protests against the Centre, should take steps in bringing down sales tax and additional sales tax on oil.

Trinamool Congress legislature party leader Partha Chatterjee said that since Congress and the Left were dependent on each other at the Centre and state respectively, they should take initiatives in reducing taxes both at the central and state levels.