New Delhi, July 30: The opposition BJP and Congress on Thursday claimed credit for pressuring the AAP government in Delhi into reducing the value-added tax (VAT) on diesel and demanded that the tax on petrol be cut as well.
Earlier in the day, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced a reduction in VAT or sales tax on diesel from 30 per cent to 16.75 per cent, bringing down its price by Rs 8.36 per litre. Also Read | Afghanistan | 8 Killed, 30 Wounded in Car Bomb Blast in Loger Province: Live News Breaking And Coronavirus Updates on July 30, 2020.
The reduction in the VAT rate, which would be effective from midnight, will help bring down the price of diesel to Rs 73.64 per litre. During the lockdown, the Delhi government increased VAT on diesel from 16.75 per cent to 30 per cent and now, they have withdrawn the hike. It was inappropriate on part of the government to increase the VAT rates on diesel and petrol at a time people were going through financial problems, Delhi BJP chief Adesh Gupta said. Also Read | Manipur Police Officer Thounaojam Brinda, Who Accused CM of Shielding Ex-BJP Member in Drug Smuggling Case, Detained For Lockdown Violation.
"After repeated pressure from the Delhi BJP, now the Kejriwal government has decided to withdraw the hike in VAT on diesel, which is a late decision. This decision should have been taken long back in the interests of the people of Delhi," he said.
The city government should reduce VAT on diesel from 16.75 per cent to 12 per cent and on petrol from 30 per cent to 20 per cent, Gupta added. Delhi Congress president Anil Kumar said the AAP government was "forced" to reduce VAT on diesel due to pressure exerted by his party through dharnas and protests.
Kumar demanded that the Delhi government reduce VAT on petrol as well and waive fixed charges on electricity. "Congress' fight is far from over as the party will rest only when VAT on petrol is reduced and fixed charges on electricity are waived," he said.
The Delhi Congress president also demanded the Modi government at the Centre reduce the excise duty on petrol and diesel. People are under tremendous pressure and are stressed out due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and it would be a great relief for them if the prices of petrol and diesel are brought down to an affordable level, he added.
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