PM Modi urges states to slash petrol, diesel taxes; says high prices ‘injustice’ to citizens

Modi also compared the petrol and diesel prices in the states across the country and said the states that did not slash taxes have made revenues in crores.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi (File Photo)

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday requested the chief ministers of the states to reduces taxes on petrol and diesel to ease out the burden on the people of the country and said high fuel prices are an injustice meted out to the citizens. However, Modi was quick to say that he wasn’t criticizing the states but just making an appeal.

The appeal was made while he was addressing the Chief Ministers during a session meant to take stock of the Covid-19 situation in the country.

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Watch Modi’s address here:

Modi emphasised that the need for Centre-state cooperation and added that cooperation is more important at the present time as there is a war situation in and India is facing many challenges because of the disruption in the supply chain.

“The situation of war which has arisen and affected the supply chain, and in such an environment, the challenges are increasing day by day,” Modi said. He added, “This global crisis is bringing many challenges. In such a situation, it has become imperative to further enhance the spirit of cooperative federalism and coordination between the Centre and states.”

Iterating that the Centre had reduced the burden by slashing the excise duty, Modi said, “Some states reduced taxes but some states did not give any benefit of this to the people. Due to this, the prices of petrol and diesel in these states continue to remain high. In a way, this is not only injustice to the people of these states but it also has an impact on neighbouring states.”

He also said, “Had Karnataka not cut taxes, it would have collected an additional Rs 5,000 crore in revenues in the last six months. Gujarat would also have collected Rs 3,500 – Rs 4,000 core more.”

He added that several states like Maharashtra, West Bengal, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Jharkhand and Tamil Nadu did not listen to the central government and earned revenues in thousands of crores. “I am not going to discuss how much revenue they (the non-compliant states) have earned by not reducing the tax. I am just appealing to you to implement what should have been done six months ago. You are all aware that 42% of the Centre’s revenue goes to the state,” he said.

Comparing the fuel prices across the country, Modi said, “Petrol is Rs 111 per litre in Chennai, in Jaipur it is over Rs 118, in Hyderabad it is over Rs 119, in Kolkata it is over Rs 115. In Mumbai, a litre of petrol costs over Rs 120 but in Daman and Diu, a litre costs Rs 102. While in Kolkata it is around Rs 115, in Lucknow, it is Rs 105.”

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