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Maha fuel price cut not substantial, an eyewash: Opposition

The Maharashtra government’s decision Thursday to reduce the price of petrol by Rs 2.50 per litre is an “eyewash”, as the rate cut would not provide much relief to people, the Opposition Congress and NCP have said.

As per the government, the reduction will give consumers in the state a relief to the tune of Rs 5 a litre.

State unit Congress president Ashok Chavan said the price cut should have been substantial enough if the government really wanted to provide relief to people.

The Maharashtra government announced the decision, soon after the Centre announced cut in the prices of petrol and diesel by Rs 2.50 per litre.

Claiming that the state government’s measure is a “cosmetic” one, the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) said the price cut is just an eyewash.

“Current prices (of petrol) are around Rs 92 per litre. So the price cut does not make any difference. There should be a substantial reduction,” Chavan told PTI when asked for his reaction.

Petrol and diesel should be brought under the ambit of the Goods and Services Tax, Chavan said.

Mumbai Congress chief Sanjay Nirupam said the price reduction was just an “eye wash”.

“This is too little too late. We were demanding that the government intervene by cutting excise and VAT when the fuel prices had reached Rs 70. Now with Rs 5 less, the prices (of petrol) will still be Rs 87 per litre. What is the guarantee that fuel prices won’t rise in future”? he asked.

The Congress leader said the government’s stand on the entire issue is “bogus”.

“After the Bharat Bandh was organised over spiralling prices of fuel, Law Minister Ravishankar Prasad had said the government cannot control the rates. How did the cut happen now? The government must apologise to the people,” he said.

NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik also echoed Nirupam.

“The decision to slash petrol and diesel rates and (the state government’s) move to reduce VAT by Rs 2.50 is mere eyewash. The state government’s decision is only a cosmetic exercise. If at all the government wants to reduce VAT, it should cut down the additional tax on liquor and drought cess,” he said.

Earlier in the day, the Centre announced a Rs 2.50 a litre cut in petrol and diesel prices.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley also asked state governments to follow suit by cutting sales tax or VAT on fuel.

The BJP-led government in Maharashtra announced reduction in price of petrol by Rs 2.50 per litre.

“Maharashtra government also decided to give additional relief of Rs 2.50 per litre on petrol to give a total benefit of Rs 5 per litre in the state,” Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis stated.



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