KTR slams Centre over fuel price hike, demands to scrap Cess on petrol, diesel

Hyderabad: Lashing out at the Centre for asking the States to reduce VAT (value-added tax) on fuel, Telangana Industry and Commerce Minister KT Rama Rao on Wednesday demanded the central government to scrap the Cess on petrol and diesel across the country.

The Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) leader held the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-ruled Centre responsible for the rising prices of petrol and diesel.

“Fuel prices have shot up because of NPA (non-performing asset) Central government. Name calling states for not reducing VAT even though we never increased it; is this the cooperative federalism you are talking about Narendra Modi ji?. Telangana has not increased VAT on fuel since 2014 and rounded off only once,” Rao tweeted.

“We do not get 41 per cent of our rightful share because of the Cess imposed by your government. In the form of Cess, you are looting 11.4 per cent from the state and we are getting only 29.6 per cent for FY23. Please scrap Cess so we can give Petrol at Rs 70 and Diesel at Rs 60 all over India. One Nation – One Price?” added KTR.

In view of the increasing COVID cases, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday held a meeting with the Chief Ministers of all the states via video conferencing and discussed various issues.

The Prime Minister called upon opposition-ruled states to follow the Centre’s decision by reducing taxes on petrol and diesel to provide relief to the people from the price hike.

“In order to reduce the burden of rising petrol and diesel prices, the central government reduced the excise duty last November. We had urged the states too to reduce their taxes. Some states reduced the tax and provided benefits to the consumers but some did not do so,” said PM Modi in the meeting.

Naming opposition parties ruled states, PM Modi said, “Maharashtra, West Bengal, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Jharkhand, and Tamil Nadu did not follow the advice of central government and people in these states are burdened with price rise.”

“I request these states to do now what they should have done in November. By reducing the VAT you can lower the burden faced by the residents,” he added.

The central government in November had reduced excise duty on petrol and diesel by Rs 5 and Rs 10 respectively. Following the Center’s decision, 25 states and Union Territories, mostly ruled by BJP or their allies had reduced VAT on petrol and diesel to give relief to consumers.