Thiruvananthapuram: Just when the nation was grappling with rising fuel prices with no sustainable solution in sight, Kerala has shown the way by reducing sales tax on petrol and diesel, a deduction that will make the fuels cheaper by Rs one. The Kerala Finance minister touted it as the LDF government’s second anniversary gift to the people.
Of course, this will burn a hole in their pocket – a loss of Rs 509 crore annually to the state exchequer. Kerala happens to be the third highest in levying taxes on fuel. Not only has Kerala shown the way out of the logjam but also sent a loaded political message to the Centre that all it required was little sacrifice and political will. ‘‘This is our message to the central government at a time when it is doing nothing to lessen the common man’s misery,’’ said Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. The Centre must take a cue from the state and bring down the fuel prices, he pointed out. Even as International crude oil prices are coming down, fuel prices in the country are going up, he added.
Petrol and diesel prices have been steadily rising every day for the last 15 days. In all, petrol price was increased by Rs. 3.8 per litre and diesel by Rs. 3.38 in the fortnight. Prices vary from state to state depending on local sales tax or VAT. Delhi has the cheapest price among all metros and most state capitals.