Ahead of polls, Bengal govt reduces tax by Re 1 per litre on petrol and diesel
Ahead of polls, the West Bengal government on Sunday (February 21) announced a reduction of tax by Re 1 per litre on petrol and diesel.
West Bengal finance minister Amit Mitra said, “West Bengal government decides Re 1 cut in prices of petrol and diesel to be applicable from midnight.”
Oil prices are on fire in the run-up to the Assembly elections. And with that, political pressure has started between the Centre and the state. Meanwhile, the state has announced a partial withdrawal of cess on fuel oil. The state has announced to withdraw the cess of Rs 1 per liter on fuel prices from midnight on Monday. As a result, the price of oil in West Bengal is going to decrease by Rs 1 per liter.
The prices of petrol and diesel are increasing continuously for more than 10 days; in some states, the price of petrol has even crossed the ₹100-mark.
In 12 days (till February 20), retail petrol prices rose by ₹3.63 a litre, a record since the pricing was deregulated in 2010, and diesel rates went up by ₹3.84.
Amit Mitra alleged that the Centre had imposed cess to avoid devolution with states, which is "against the characteristics of federalism".
Petrol price touched Rs 91.78 in Kolkata on Sunday. The price of diesel is Rs 84.56 per liter. In this situation, the BJP and TMC battle on oil prices has been going on for the last few weeks. The BJP has demanded a tax on oil. In return, the TMC demanded that the Centre withdraw the tax first.
The Bengal government's move comes a day after finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that Centre and state governments will have to together work out a mechanism to bring retail rates to reasonable levels. 60 percent of the retail price of petrol and about 56 percent of diesel prices are made up of central and state taxes.