BJP to protest Hike in VAT on Petrol, Diesel in Odisha

Bhubaneswar, Dec 25: The Odisha BJP will stage protests at all the district headquarters in the state tomorrow against the state government decision to hike 3% VAT on petrol and diesel. This was informed by the state unit chief KV Singhdeo here today.

The Odisha government yesterday imposed an additions three per cent VAT on petrol and diesel with immediate effect from midnight, putting extra pressure on the consumers. With the hike, the petrol and diesel prices are now increased by Rs 1.49 per litre and Rs 1.33 per litre respectively.

Earlier, the VAT was 20% on petrol and diesel. And now it was hiked to 23% after the Cabinet meeting chaired by chief minister Naveen Patnaik yesterday.

Soon after the government announced to increase VAT on petrol and diesel prices by three per cent yesterday, the state BJP had criticised the decision. BJP spokesperson Sajjan Kumar slammed the government accusing it of being anti-people and adopting an agenda similar to the proposals pursued by the erstwhile UPA government at Centre. 

However, justifying the decision on hike of VAT on the fuel, state Chief Secretary G C Pati said that the decision was taken to generate revenue as the state suffered a loss of around Rs 200 crore in the last four months of 2014-15 fiscal after the continuous reduction in prices of petrol and diesel in the country.

He said that the Central government also increased the excise duty by Rs 1.50 per litre on petrol and diesel with effect in November and further raised it by Rs 2.25 per litre on petrol and Rs 1 per litre on diesel this month to recover the losses after the continuous fall in prices of crude oil.

In the last six months since July 1, the petrol prices have been reduced by Rs 13 and diesel prices by Rs 9.17 in the country.

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