Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, July 8
Asking SAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal to stop “parroting the lines of his political masters in the BJP”, Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh on Wednesday dared him to quit the ruling coalition at the Centre before resorting to protests against the state’s decision to increase the VAT on fuel.
‘Centre hiked cess’
While all other Central taxes have a 42 per cent state share, the taxes on petroleum products have been increased by way of cess and not excise, thus depriving the states of their share, the Chief Minister said.
Reacting to the protests led by Sukhbir with “social-distancing norms thrown to the wind”, Capt Amarinder said instead of putting the lives of people at risk with his politically motivated acts, the SAD president should pressurise the Central Government to roll back the manifold increase in petrol and diesel prices since the beginning of Unlock 1.0 in the country. “What made the hike even more abominable is the fact that the crude prices internationally showed a remarkable downward trend during this period,” he said.
The Chief Minister pointed out that since 2016, the NDA government, in which the SAD was a partner, had increased taxes on diesel by 900 per cent and on petrol by 700 per cent. The prices of fuel in India were now among the highest in the world, he claimed.
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