Since last few months, many states in India have been facing issues over a massive hike in prices of petrol, disesel, in few states/cities the price has nearly reached Rs 100 per litre. Uniopn Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and the Bharatiya Janata Party have been facing hit over the price issue since long as many leaders and oppostion parties had staged protests.
However, Dharmendra Pradhan on Sunday hit back at Congress leader and Wayanad MP asking why fuel prices are high in Congress-ruled states like Punjab, Rajasthan and Maharashtra.
"If he is so concerned about the poor, he should instruct Maharashtra CM to reduce taxes as prices are very high in Mumbai," he added.
On other hand, the petroleum minister commenting on prices said, "I accept that current fuel prices are problematic for people but be it central-state govt, over Rs 35,000 crores have been being spent on vaccines in a year." "In such dire times, we're saving money to spend on welfare schemes," he added.
He, however, did not say if BJP-ruled states like Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka, which too have seen petrol price cross Rs 100 a litre mark due to local taxes, would follow suit.
Fuel prices differ from state to state depending on the incidence of local taxes such as VAT and freight charges. And because of this, petrol retails at over Rs 100 per litre mark in seven states and union territories -- Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka and Ladakh.
Of these states, Congress is in power in Rajasthan and is a coalition partner with Shiv Sena and NCP in Maharashtra. BJP rules Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka and Ladakh too is under central rule. Andhra Pradesh has YSR-Congress in power while TRS rules in Telangana.
Rajasthan levies the highest value-added tax (VAT or sales tax) on petrol and diesel in the country, followed by Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Karnataka.