Congress general secretary Randeep Singh Surjewala on Friday dubbed the “rapid and repeated backbreaking increase” in the excise duty and VAT on petrol and diesel in past as “Jizyah tax” by the Narendra Modi government at the centre and ML Khattar-led government in Haryana.
Mr Surjewala made the assertion amid various non-BJP-ruled states refusing to slash the VAT to further lower the fuel prices in the wake of the Centre lowering its excise duty on petrol and diesel by Rs 5 and Rs 10 respectively with various BJP-ruled states lowering VAT on them.
“The rapid and repeated backbreaking increase in excise duty and State VAT on the two fuels are Jizyah Tax by Modi and Khattar governments,” he said in a statement.
Jizyah was a tax system in countries governed by Islamic law.
“In the first nine months of the year 2021 alone, petrol price was increased by Rs 28 per litre and diesel price by Rs 26 per litre. Reduction in the price of petrol and diesel by Rs 5 and Rs 10 per litre respectively is being tom-tommed as a Diwali gift. This is a clear deception,” Mr Surjewala said in a statement.
“During the previous Congress government up till October 2014, VAT on diesel in Haryana was 8.8 per cent. Post-reduction and even on date, VAT in Haryana is 18 per cent and additional VAT in the state is five per cent. This is a clear increase of over 100 per cent. Even after the so-called reduction of VAT on November 4, 2021, the VAT on petrol is 18.20 per cent and additional VAT is 5 per cent,” he added.
“Will the duo of Khattar-Dushyant Chautala answer people for this brazen loot by their government?” he asked.
The Haryana government had announced a reduction in VAT on the fuels on Thursday, making them cheaper in the BJP-JJP-ruled state by Rs 12 per litre.
On Wednesday, the central government had announced a cut in the excise duty on petrol and diesel by Rs 5 and Rs 10 respectively, bringing down their retail rates from record highs.
In reality, the Khattar government does not want to pass on the benefit of reduction in crude oil prices to the people of Haryana, he said.
“The Khattar government is dishing out deceit by indulging in faking of numbers. The Haryana government has purportedly reduced the VAT on petrol by 6.5 per cent but put a rider of maximum reduction of Rs 1.12 only,” Mr Surjewala claimed.
“In the case of diesel, it is even more intriguing. The Khattar government has purportedly reduced VAT on diesel by 0.40 per cent but increased the maximum VAT amount from Rs 10.08 per litre to Rs 11.86 per litre,” he claimed.
Mr Surjewala, who is also a former Haryana minister, asked the Khattar government to explain the reason or the logic for restricting the reduction in maximum VAT relief to Rs 1.12 per litre and increasing, instead of reducing, the maximum VAT amount on diesel by Rs 1.78 per litre.
“The reason is clear – whenever the crude oil prices will fall, Khattar government will profiteer and people of Haryana will get no benefit. But if the crude oil prices were to increase, the burden of the same shall be put on the people of the state. This is particularly a draconian anti-farmer measure,” he alleged.
Meanwhile, a Haryana government statement on Friday said after the state reduced VAT on petrol and diesel, the price of petrol has come down from Rs 106.94 to Rs 95.27 per litre in the entire state.
Also, the diesel price has come down from Rs 98.60 to Rs 86.51.
“Petrol and diesel prices are still higher in other states as compared to Haryana. In Punjab, petrol is Rs 105.02 per litre, in Delhi the price of petrol is Rs 103.97 per litre. Similarly, petrol in Himachal Pradesh is Rs 96.06 per litre,” the government statement said.
“It is evident from the figures of these states that petrol and diesel are cheaper in Haryana and the people of the state are getting the benefit of the price reduction,” it added.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)