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Centre vs states: Opposition leaders present 'facts' after PM Modi's fuel tax attack

While talking about the Centre-state cooperation, PM Modi stated that several states had reduced their VAT on fuel after the Centre eliminated the tax last year, however, still, some states' VAT remains unchanged.

Centre vs states: Opposition leaders present 'facts' after PM Modi's fuel tax attack - adt
New Delhi, First Published Apr 28, 2022, 2:30 PM IST

After PM Modi's fuel price remark on opposition ruling states, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has dived into the topic, slamming Prime Minister Modi on Thursday. He stated that the Centre collects 68 per cent of all fuel taxes, and the PM Modi blames the states. 

Gandhi tweeted that the Centre always targets the states, be it high fuel prices, coal shortage, or short oxygen. Modi's federalism is not cooperative; instead, Rahul Gandhi claimed it's coercive. 

On Wednesday, while talking about the Centre-state cooperation, PM Modi explained, giving an example of the petrol and diesel taxes. He stated that several states had cut their VAT on fuel after the Centre eliminated the tax last year. However, few states have not, which is unfair to their residents and the states that have reduced the tax. PM Modi called out names of states, such as Maharashtra, West Bengal, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, and Jharkhand, claiming that these states have not reduced fuel taxes and have therefore earned more money compared to Karnataka and Gujarat, who have reduced fuel taxes and hence lost revenue.

In defence of the remark by PM Modi, many leaders expressed their disagreement. To counter such disagreement, Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri stated that petrol would be cheaper if opposition-ruled states cut taxes on fuel instead of imported liquor. Puri tweeted, targeting the non-BJP ruled states, particularly Maharashtra; BJP rule states have VAT on fuel between Rs 14.50 to Rs 17.50 /ltr, while other states have Rs 26 to Rs 32 /ltr. Claiming that they are just interested in protesting and criticising, not assisting the people, Puri added. 

In reverse, to the 'facts' stated by the Union Minister, the Shiv Sena leader and MP Priyanka Chaturvedi stated that the Centre still has to pay Rs 78.704 crore GST compensation to the states. 

Telangana Minister KT Rama Rao also stated that the fuel prices have increased because of the NPA central government. The minister stated that calling states names for not reducing VAT even though they never raised it; is this the cooperative federalism PM Modi refers to.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee stated that her government spent Rs 1500 crore subsidising petrol and diesel prices in the state over the last three years. In a meeting on Wednesday, the CM stated that PM Modi delivered a wholly one-sided and misleading speech. The facts shared were incorrect. For the last three years, the West Bengal state government has provided a Rs 1 subsidy per litre on petrol and diesel and has spent Rs 1,500 crore.

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