Slamming the Karnataka coalition government for burdening the people again, the opposition BJP on Wednesday urged Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy to withdraw the 2 per cent hike in state tax on petrol and diesel.
"The basic price of petrol and diesel has declined across the country over the last 2 months due to fall in international crude oil prices. Instead of making the people benefit from lower prices, the state government had increased the sales tax on fuel by 2 per cent since January 1. It should be rolled back," state BJP's state unit general secretary C.T. Ravi told reporters here.
Kumaraswamy, who also holds the finance portfolio, increased the state tax to 32 per cent on petrol and to 21 per cent on diesel because their base price decreased since November.
"As the fuel prices declined after fall in crude oil rates in the global market since November, the state tax has been revised to 32 per cent on petrol from 30 per cent and to 21 per cent on diesel from 19 per cent since January 1, 2019," said a statement by the chief minister's office here on January 5.
Noting that the state tax on petrol was Rs 20.59 per litre and Rs 13.75 on diesel per litre, which was among the highest in the country, Ravi said the state levy was three times over that levied by the state-run oil marketing firms.
"When fuel prices decline, the ruling coalition partners (Congress and Janata Dal-Secular) say it is owing to fall in crude oil rates and when they go up, they blame the Modi government for it, indulging in double-speak," said Ravi.
The state government had on September 17 reduced its tax on petrol to 28.75 per cent from 32 per cent and diesel to 17.73 per cent from 21 per cent in a bid to give relief to the people from on soaring international crude oil prices.
In the state budget for fiscal 2018-19 Kumaraswamy presented on July 5 Che increased the state tax on petrol by 2 per cent to 32 per cent from 30 per cent and on diesel to 21 per cent from 19 per cent with effect from July 15 despite protests and public resentment.
"We will launch a protest strike if the hike in the state tax on the fuel is not rolled back before the Sankranti festival next week," a party official told IANS./Eom/405 words.
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