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Fuel: Jharkhand BJP demands Hemant govt for slash in state VAT

Ranchi: Following reduction of petrol and diesel prices by Narendra Modi government two days ago, BJP which is in opposition in the state has upped ante against Jharkhand government demanding similar slash in state’s value added taxes to further bring down the prices.

Addressing a press conference on Saturday, BJP state president Deepak Prakash demanded, “Jharkhand government too must cut down the prices at the similar rate at which central government did.” Centre has cut Rs 5 on petrol and Rs 10 on diesel respectively. “By dilly-dallying, Soren government is running away from responsibility,” he said. 

Citing how till few days back, ruling JMM-Congress-RJD alliance parties have been staging protests against the fuel prices criticizing Modi government, Prakash said, “Why can’t state government cut the price now? It conveniently puts blame on Modi government for everything but when it comes to its own responsibility, state government goes numb.”

Currently, state charges Rs 17 as VAT on petrol and Rs 12.50 on diesel. Jharkhand Petroleum Dealers Association (JPDA) too has demanded rollback of VAT by at least 5 percent. Addressing a press conference in Dhanbad, president of JPDA Ashok Singh said, “A five percent reduction will be a big respite not just for public but also for petrol pump owners who are reeling under losses. Due to high VAT here, many long distance vehicles tend to fill fuel in neighbouring states where taxes are much lesser. As a result, we are reeling under heavy losses. Cut in tax would mean hike in sales which ultimately will help state government to earn better revenues.”

State government is still to make any comments on the issue but sources said that chief minister and finance minister Rameshwar Oraon is likely to hold deliberations soon to take any call.