Petrol/diesel: Here is what finance minister thinks about VAT cut in Jharkhand

Ranchi: Jharkhand’s finance minister Rameshwar Oraon has indicated that the state government is not in favour of reducing state’s value added taxes (VAT) on petrol and diesel amid the growing demands for the same after Central government trimmed the taxes last month. Many states including non-BJP ruled ones have also cut down on their state’s value added taxes (VAT) to bring down the price. In Jharkhand, Oraon however said that the prices are already lower than many adjacent states indicating that reduction of VAT is unlikely in near future.

Responding to a query on Monday while talking to reporters after a programme to mark 66th death anniversary of Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar, Oraon said, “The ground reality of petrol and diesel prices in our state compared to neighbouring states is lesser. In Bihar, petrol is Rs 104 and diesel is Rs 98. In Bengal, petrol is Rs 108 and diesel is close to Rs 92. In Jharkhand, petrol is Rs 98 and diesel about Rs 91. We already have less prices here.”

He added, “After Narendra Modi government came to power in 2014, taxes on petrol and diesel flew from 9% to 30% now. But despite change of guard in Jharkhand, we haven’t hiked prices and are maintaining 22% VAT introduced by previous BJP government here. Hence, Centre must think of reducing prices as it is their responsibility at the first place.”

On the other hand, Jharkhand Petroleum Dealers Association has already announced to hold daylong strike on December 21 across the state demanding slash in VAT from 22 to 17 percent.