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Congress promises to reduce VAT on petrol, diesel & CNG
July, 26th 2012

Exhibiting an uncanny proactive attitude, Gujarat Congress on Tuesday noon released a 12-point agenda which they termed as Gujarat peoples development vision 2012. It is a list of 12 promises that the party intends to implement when and if voted to power in the forthcoming Assembly elections. However, it was categorically stated that this is not an election manifesto.

Topping the promises is an extremely populist move to reduce VAT substantially on fuel petrol, diesel and CNG; and completely from fertilizers. At 25% per litre on petrol and 24% per litre on diesel, VAT rates in Gujarat are highest in the country. It can be argued that such a promise is well needed to counter the BJPs top poll agenda inflation and corruption. Significantly, both the issues are aimed at the middle classes.

In an apparent bid to put up a united front, the top leadership of the state addressed the media and posed for shutterbugs at the party office in Paldi. State party president Arjun Modhwadia said, All anomalies will be cleared which create confusions and definite relief will be offered to small retailers in Gujarat. VAT on fertilizers charged heavily by the BJP government shall be removed and fertilizers will be cheaper by Rs30 to Rs70. He, however, refused to give a fix on the reduction in fuel prices. I can assure it will be lower than neighbouring states, whatever it may be at that time, he said.

Chairman of election campaign committee Shankersinh Vaghela said the government should not make money at the cost of common people of Gujarat and grant huge tax benefits to the corporates. There wont be any discrimination between the common man and big industrialists in so far as policy of Congress government is concerned. Companies like Essar are granted VAT relief to the tune of Rs9,100 crore as against heavily charged VAT on petrol, diesel and CNG gas collection of Rs11,823 crore from common man.

Leader of Opposition Shaktisinh Gohil said urban areas would benefit greatly as CNG rickshaws would get cheaper. We have taken feedback from experts to prepare these points. This will be our main election agenda. It will trickle down to all our workers and will be taken to people in public gatherings, he added.

Chairman of manifesto committee Arvind Sanghvi said most policies that Modi government announces are not fulfilled. Our focus is clearly on the middle and lower middle class to whom the fuel prices matter a lot. The government just makes fake promises on paper. Even the budget allocations every years are mere cursory to show something on paper, said Sanghvi, who is a former finance minister.

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