12-hour Protests begin in Odisha against VAT hike on Petrol, Diesel

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Bhubaneswar, Dec 26: The Odisha BJP on Friday began its 12-hour statewide demonstrations protesting the decision to hike VAT by 3 percent on petrol and diesel that added extra burden on the consumers during the festive season.

The BJP workers staged protests at all the district headquarters as decided yesterday.

While the prices of petrol and diesel were reduced these days in the country after the fall in prices of crude oil in the international markets, the hike in value added tax (VAT) on petrol and diesel is definitely aimed at generating more revenue for the state government. The tax could have been imposed by the companies, but the consumers were finally the sufferers.

Opposing the state government's decision, BJP state unit chief KV Singhdeo said, "While the Centre has brought down the price of petrol and diesel, the Odisha government has raised the price by imposing VAT. The state government which had earlier blamed the Centre for raising the fuel price has decided to raise the price. Our party has come to the street demanding immediate withdrawal of VAT from petrol and diesel".

However, the ruling BJD has refuted the charges.

"While price of petrol and diesel in the international market has come down, the Centre has increased the price by imposing and collecting Excise Duty from them. Apart from this, the Odisha government, as compared to other states has imposed lowest VAT on petrol and diesel", said BJD spokesperson Pratap Jena.

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