Sunday, August 8, 2010

Centre Blamed for High Fuel Pricing

BANGALORE: Pointing fingers at the Centre for high prices of petrol and diesel in the state, Home Minister VS Acharya on Wednesday said that the issue price of petrol and diesel sold to the state from the oil marketing companies was higher by Rs 2 to Rs 2.5 per litre in comparison to the neighbouring states.

Acharya said that the issue price was fixed some 20 years ago taking the lead price of Kochi and Tamil Nadu. “Despite our repeated requests, the Centre is not willing to revise it. If the issue price is brought down on par with the other states, the petrol and diesel prices in the state will also come down considerably,” the Home Minister said.

Dismissing reports that the state taxes on petroleum products were highest in the country, Acharya said that the state taxes were on par with the other southern states.

The state taxes on petrol and diesel stood at 30 per cent (27 per cent VAT and 3 per cent entry tax) and 23 per cent (18 per cent VAT and 5 per cent entry tax) respectively, while the tax rates in neighbouring states like Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra were almost in the same range.

To a question, Acharya categorically ruled out a slash in the state tax rates on petroleum products stating that the state would lose substantial revenue if it did so.

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