A day after the Maharashtra government announced reduction in VAT on petrol and diesel, BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis on Monday termed it as "absolute cheating" and said the ruling dispensation in the state should immediately slash the fuel prices without "fooling the people" anymore.
The reduction in price as claimed by the state government is a natural result of the Centre's decision to cut down excise duty on fuel, Fadnavis said in a series of tweets.
The Centre on Saturday reduced the excise duty on petrol and diesel. On Sunday, the Shiv Sena-led Maharashtra government reduced the Value Added Tax (VAT) on per litre petrol by Rs 2.08 and diesel by Rs 1.44.
A statement issued by the government had said the state exchequer will have to bear an annual loss of Rs 2,500 crore as a result of this decision.
Reacting to the government's move, Fadnavis tweeted: "What is done by MVA is just an 'April Fool' act in the month of May!!! We once again demand that MVA should immediately take decision on reducing fuel prices & give relief to citizens, without fooling the people anymore." "Absolute shame! This is NOT any kind of relief by MVA Govt as announced from the official Twitter handle but a natural reduction, based on the reduction in Central Govt taxes," he said in another tweet, claiming that this is "absolute cheating". The state government recovers taxes on basic fuel price, commission given to dealers, road and infrastructure and agriculture and infrastructure development, the former chief minister noted.
"So, if the Centre cuts down tax on any of these, the state's tax reduces automatically," said Fadnavis, who is leader of opposition in state Assembly.
The BJP leader further said the Rs 2.08 and Rs 1.44 reduction in the per litre prices of petrol and diesel, respectively, in Maharashtra is the outcome of the Centre reducing road and infrastructure cess.
"It is quite serious that it (the state government) does not do anything on its own, but takes credit for the Centre's decision," Fadnavis added.