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5 states cut sales tax on fuel; PM for check on expenditure
June, 09th 2008

Five states today slashed taxes sales tax on petroleum products to cushion the impact in prices of diesel, petrol and cooking gas even as Prime Minister Manmohan Singh asked his ministerial colleagues to avoid foreign travel and reduce spending.

Maharashtra, Delhi, Bihar and Tamil Nadu today followed the examples of Kerala, Tripura and West Bengal announcing cut in sales tax on fuel sales and VAT on LPG and Andhra Pradesh decided to bear the increased cost of cooking gas.

Congress President Sonia Gandhi and BJP central leadership separately asked Chief Ministers of states ruled by their respective parties to cut sales tax on petroleum products.

Petrol and diesel prices were yesterday hiked by Rs 5 and 3 a litre, respectively, and cooking gas by Rs 50 a cylinder, a decision that drew a barrage of protests and shutdown in Left-ruled states of West Bengal, Kerala and Tripura today.

The Prime Minister who appealed to states to forego a part of their revenues from petro products, today wrote to his colleagues, asking them to take austerity steps.

"As we ask the people to bear some financial burden... it is not only necessary from the resource conservation... but also as a moral duty to cut out wasteful expenditure in our own establishment," he said.

The appeal was followed by cut in sales tax on LPG by the Congress-ruled Delhi government, on diesel by DMK-ruled Tamil Nadu and on petrol and diesel by the NDA government in Bihar.

The Congress-NCP government in Maharashtra decided to cut the sales tax on fuel by two per cent and reducing the VAT on LPG by four per cent.

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