The Congress-ruled Punjab government has created a dilemma for the congress ruled government in Rajasthan. The Punjab government has not only cut the VAT rates on petroleum products but issued an advertisement that tells that Rajasthan is selling the costliest petrol and diesel among the neighbouring states of Punjab. the opposition Bjp is making it an issue in Rajasthan and running social media campaign against the state government.
The advertisement was published in the local newspapers of Punjab on Monday and its picture is circulating on social media in Rajasthan.
The advertisement is with a picture of Punjab CM Charanjit Singh Channi and has a table with the prices of petroleum products in Punjab, Delhi, Haryana and Rajasthan and according to this table, the prices of petrol and diesel are highest in Rajashthan among the 4 states.
The Congress party has nothing to say on this and party officials are not ready to comment as the matter is related to the CM of both the states. ‘The decision of the Punjab government to reduce the VAT on petrol and diesel is poll bounded but it has created a dilemma for our workers in Rajasthan as now we have no excuse left for not reducing the VAT,’ said a party leader on anonymity.
Though CM Ashok Gehlot has indirectly commented on this in a letter to PM Narendra Modi. He said ‘the Centre first increased the additional and special excise duty on petrol-diesel and later on reduced it minimal and tried to create an atmosphere of mutual competition among states for reducing the VAT. It is contrary to the spirit of Cooperative Federalism.
While the opposition Bjp is making it an issue. The deputy leader of opposition in assembly Rajesndra Rathor said ‘the Congress party should clarify its stand in the VAT as one of their government is reducing the tax and the other is making excuses.
The Bjp is also running a social media campaign against the state government on the issue of the reduction of VAT.
In the meantime, the CM Ashok Gehlot in his letter to PM Narendra Modi has once again demanded further reduction on the additional excise duty and special excise duty of the Central Pool on petrol and diesel. Gehlot said that the Centre should further reduce excise duty to the tune of Rs. 10 per litre on petrol and Rs. 15 per litre on diesel. With this, the VAT received by the State will automatically get reduced proportionately by Rs 3.40 per litre on petrol and Rs 3.90 per litre on diesel. The State exchequer will have to bear an additional revenue loss of Rs 3500 crore per annum, which the State Government is ready to bear in the larger public interest.