The oil minister criticizes the “hypocrisy” of the opposition states’ fuel tax


They like to protest and criticize rather than give people relief, he said.

They like to protest and criticize rather than give people relief, he said.

Union Oil and Gas Secretary Hardeep Puri on Thursday launched a diatribe against the “hypocrisy” of opposition-ruled states, saying gasoline would be cheaper if some of them cut taxes on fuel instead of imported liquor .

The minister’s comments in a series of social media posts came a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi accused opposition-ruled states of failing to cut fuel taxes in favor of consumers.

Mr Puri listed the tax structure of several states on petroleum products, arguing that the states ruled by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) levied taxes were the lowest. He also criticized states for levying a heavy tax on jet fuel (ATF), resulting in higher air fares.

“States governed by the BJP have a sales tax [value added tax] on petrol and diesel range from ₹14.50 to ₹17.50/ltr, while taxes levied by states governed by other parties range from ₹26 to ₹32/ltr. The difference is clear. Their intention is only to protest and criticize, not to bring relief to people,” he noted.

“Have you ever wondered why airline ticket prices haven’t gone down? Jet fuel accounts for about 40% of airline operating costs. But West Bengal, Maharashtra and Delhi charge ATF massive sales taxes of over 25% while BJP state UP and Nagaland; & UT by J&K only charge 1%,” Mr Puri noted, adding that the prime minister ensured affordable air travel for ordinary citizens, but these states created “obstacles”.

“They stage protests against ‘oil prices,’ but purse people to fill their coffers… The truth hurts, but the facts speak for themselves,” said the oil and gas minister.

Maharashtra, he said, has taken £79,412m in fuel taxes since 2018 and is expected to collect £33,000m this year, and questioned the state for failing to reduce VAT on petrol and diesel to ease the burden on people.

Gasoline will get cheaper as opposition-ruled states cut taxes on fuel instead of imported liquor! The Maharashtra government imposes petrol £32.15/litre and Congress ruled that Rajasthan was £29.10 but the BJP ruled that Uttarakhand levies are only £14.51 and Uttar Pradesh £16.50. Protests cannot challenge facts!” he commented.

Terming Telangana, whose Prime Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao on Wednesday heavily criticized the prime minister’s advice to states, a “curious case”, Mr Puri said it has one of the highest sales taxes on petrol and diesel, at 35.20% and 27% respectively raises . “The state government collected Cr 56,020 as VAT from 2014 to 2021. Expected to be 13,315 Cr₹ in 2021-22. Totals a whopping ₹69,334 cr. Where’s it gone?” he asked.

Mr Rao had pointed out that the Telangana government had not increased taxes on petroleum products since 2015, while the center not only increased taxes but also levied a levy.

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