Despite the reduction in excise duty by the Central government last week, Rajasthan tops the chart when it comes to the rate of petrol and diesel. In Jaipur, the price per litre petrol is Rs 111.10 and that of diesel is Rs 95.71.
Following the central government's decision to reduce excise duty on petrol and diesel by Rs 5 and Rs 10 per litre. However, in Rajasthan, the opposition BJP has been attacking the Congress government for not reducing the rate in the state and demanding the Gehlot government to lower the VAT on the two motor fuels.
“We have been demanding reduction on VAT on diesel and petrol to provide relief to people. At present Rajasthan has the highest VAT on fuel in the country. The central government has already reduced the excise duty on diesel petrol to bring relief to the common man. The CM Gehlot should follow the footsteps of the PM Modi”, Satish Poonia, state BJP chief told Outlook.
"It is interesting to see that states such as Maharashtra, Delhi, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Meghalaya, Andaman and Nicobar, Jharkhand, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Punjab, and Rajasthan have not reduced their fuel VAT and none of these states is governed by the BJP," Satish Poonia said in a press note.
In response to the allegations and demands raised by the BJP in Rajasthan, Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot in return demanded that the Centre reduce excise duty, claiming that it would automatically reduce state VAT collection. “In view of the inflation, the central government should make further reduction due to which the VAT collection of the states will automatically reduce in the same proportion," the CM tweeted.
“The revenue accumulated by the central government in the form of additional excise duty/Special Excise Duty and cess on petrol, diesel, and gas. The state governments impose Value-Added Tax (VAT)on that. That is why, in light of the price hike, the central government should reduce it even further”, said Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot.
Meanwhile, petrol pump dealers have supported the opposition's demand and are also asking the state government to lower the VAT at par with other neighbouring states. “The Rajasthan government should reduce the VAT on diesel to 16% and on petrol by 26% just as it has done for the neighbouring states. At present we are paying the highest price of petrol and diesel in India. We have requested the government several times but nothing has happened so far”, a member of the Rajasthan Petrol Pump and dealer association said.
In Rajasthan, the VAT on diesel was 16% and on petrol 26%, which in the last two years, has been increased to 26% and 36% respectively. The state government has been suggesting the Centre reduces excise duty on fuel due to which the VAT collection of the states will automatically reduce.