The BJP, which is ruling partner in Chief Minister Eknath Shinde-led government, on Thursday hailed the state government’s decision to reduce the price of petrol by Rs 5 and diesel by Rs 3 per litre. However, the Congress party claimed it was not enough as BJP had criticised the Maha Vikas Aghadi government’s decision in May to reduce VAT on petrol by Rs 2.08 and on diesel by Rs 1.44 per litre as it had demanded that there should be at least 50% cut.
BJP State unit Vice President Madhav Bhandari said that after the central government reduced the excise duty on petrol diesel twice, the saffron party had demanded that the previous MVA government should reduce VAT on auto fuel but ignored it.
‘’Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis have given great relief to the common people by reducing the VAT on fuel after coming to power. A new era of cooperation between the Center and the State has started in Maharashtra,’’ said Bhandari.
However, the state Congress general secretary Sachin Sawant reminded the BJP’s demand for the reduction of VAT by 50% to Rs 16.28 from Rs 32.55 per litre on petrol and to Rs 11.19 from Rs 22.37 per litre on diesel after the MVA government’s cut VAT on petrol by Rs 2.08 and on diesel by Rs 1.44 per litre in May. ‘’Today, it is surprising that the Shinde-Fadnavis government has reduced petrol and diesel rates by Rs 5 and Rs 3 respectively. The BJP demanded that the MVA government reduce the total VAT by 50% to Rs 16.28 from Rs 32.55 on petrol and Rs 11.19 from Rs 22.37 on diesel. What happened now?’’ he asked while targeting the BJP.
On the other hand, the state NCP chief spokesman Mahesh Tapase claimed that the Shinde-Fadnavis government could reduce the auto fuel rates only because of the present financial situation that was the result of financial management done by former finance minister Ajit Pawar. He said that the new government should not take credit for its move as it was possible because of strong and stable financial conditions possible due to the number of decisions taken by Pawar as the finance minister in the Maha Vikas Aghadi government.