Non-BJP states should lower fuel prices: BJP

New Delhi: Accusing non-BJP states of not doing thier bit to give relief to the common man, the BJP on Monday asked them to reduce VAT on fuel prices and stop spreading propaganda against the Central government.

“Non-BJP governments have not tried to take the burden off the people,” Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Spokesperson Meenakshi Lekhi said at a press conference.

“They should show sensitivity. They are only doing propaganda but not helping the people’s cause,” she said.

Her reamrks came days after Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced a cut in the excise duty by Rs 1.50 a litre. Additionally, the state-owned oil marketing companies have been mandated to reduce prices of petrol and diesel by Re 1 a litre.

She said if this burden was calculated, it was close to Rs 9,000 crore which the PSUs (Public Sector Units) lose and it is close to Rs 10,000 crore which the Central government loses.

Lekhi said that while most BJP-ruled states have reduced VAT and have given people relief of Rs 5 per litre, the governments in Delhi, Kerala, Punjab and other non-BJP ruled states have not done thier bit.

The BJP leader pointed out that the central government duty (tax) is ‘fixed’ and it is only the states which are charging in ‘percentage term’.

Explaining the ad valorem tariff formula, she said state governments on an average get 29 per cent of the price of the fuel cost as per the percentage term.

“Based on this price mechanism, if the international price increases, the percentage hike in VAT (value added tax) also increases unlike the duty which is a fixed duty and since there is percentage hike in the states.

“For example, even if Delhi was getting 27 per cent on Rs 70, so today they are getting 27 per cent on Rs 80. So because of percentage hike and exchange rate (dollar versus rupee) being different, they have been actually benefited by close of Rs 6.44 per liter,” she added.