Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Sunday lauded the Centre for the reduction in excise duty on petrol and diesel and hinted that his government might do its bit after due deliberations, raising hopes of further relief.
Kumar also pointed out that after the prices were first slashed in November last year, his government was quick to announce further cuts which made petrol and diesel cheaper in the state.
"It is a very welcome step. We will decide what we can do on the state level after discussions," Kumar told reporters in reply to questions about the latest cuts in petrol and diesel prices.
Union Finance Nirmala Sitharaman had on Saturday announced substantial cuts in central excise duty on petrol and diesel which were to have "revenue implication of around Rs one lakh crore per year for the government".
She also exhorted state governments, "especially..where reduction was not done during the last round" to "implement a similar cut and give relief to the common man".
The Bihar chief minister, who was talking to reporters at the state headquarters of his Janata Dal (United), was also asked about the prospective candidate for the upcoming biennial Rajya Sabha poll.
"You will get to know when the time comes. There is no need to hurry, said Kumar, dismissing questions about the likelihood, or otherwise, of Union minister RCP Singh being considered for another term in the Upper House.
Singh's term in Parliament ends shortly. To retain his ministership, he must get elected to either House within six months of the expiry of his term.
A confidant of the chief minister, Singh rose in the party ranks rapidly upon entry into politics a decade ago and succeeded Kumar as the national president last year. He, however, gave up the post upon induction into the Union cabinet.
It is speculated that Singh has of late left Kumar uneasy with an ideological stance tilted towards ally BJP.
The chief minister has been a BJP ally for three decades but likes to maintain his distinct ideological position and assert his socialist background.
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