Karnataka BJP wants State tax hike on Petrol, Diesel withdrawn
Slamming the Karnataka coalition government for burdening the people again, the opposition BJP on Wednesday urged Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy to withdraw the 2 percent 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 percent since January 1. It should be rolled back,” state BJP’s state unit general secretary CT Ravi told reporters.
Kumaraswamy, who also holds the finance portfolio, increased the state tax to 32 percent on petrol and to 21 percent 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 percent on petrol from 30 percent and to 21 percent on diesel from 19 percent 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 liter and Rs 13.75 on diesel per liter, 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 percent from 32 percent and diesel to 17.73 percent from 21 percent 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 percent to 32 percent from 30 percent and on diesel to 21 percent from 19 percent 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