BJP MLA demands cut in VAT, stage dharna at Kejriwal’s residence

New Delhi: BJP legislators, accompanied by the party’s Delhi unit president Adesh Gupta, staged a dharna outside Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s residence on Monday demanding a reduction in value-added tax (VAT) on petrol and diesel.

The Central government on November 3 announced slashing excise duty on petrol by Rs 5 per litre and on diesel by Rs 10 a litre to give reprieve to consumers battered by record-high retail fuel prices.

“We came here to hand over a memorandum to Kejriwal demanding a cut in VAT on petrol and diesel but learnt that he is touring other states for election campaigns. If other states can cut VAT why can not the Delhi government do so?” Gupta asked.

He accused Kejriwal of “pursuing politics purely for power with no concern for the people of Delhi”.

Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia on Saturday said the AAP government is looking into steps it can take to provide more relief to the people from the high prices of petrol and diesel.

Since states charge local sales tax or VAT not just on the base price but also on the excise duty levied by the Centre, the total incidence of price reduction is higher.

BJP-ruled states have cut their VAT on petrol and diesel following the Centre’s announcement to cut excise duty. The Congress-led Punjab government on Sunday announced a reduction in VAT on petrol and diesel, making them cheaper by Rs 10 and Rs 5 per litre respectively in the state.