Andhra Pradesh rules out reducing VAT on petrol, clarifies stance via ad

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Written by Shankhyaneel Sarkar | Edited by Poulomi Ghosh, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

The Andhra Pradesh government ruled out reducing value-added tax on petrol and diesel on Sunday and also took out an ad in several newspapers clarifying its stand on the issue.

The AP government justified its move by saying that the Centre did not adequately compensate the state government despite collecting 3.35 lakh crore as central excise. The ads published by the government came after the opposition parties protested against the state government for not reducing VAT on petrol and diesel.

“Although the central government collected 3.35 lakh crore as Central Excise on petrol and diesel, it distributed only 19,475 crore as state’s share, which is just 5.80%. The Centre has to distribute 41% of taxes collected to the states,” the Andhra government said in its ad.

It also published a table in the ad where it showed excise duty collected (by the Centre) as only 47,500 crore, of which 41% ( 19,475 crore) was given away as the state’s share while also claiming that Centre collected 2.87 lakh crore in the form of cess and surcharges to avoid a divisible pool of petro income and thereby reduced the state’s share of petro revenue.

The ad which was issued by the Andhra Pradesh government was issued under the name of minister Buggana Rajendranth who further added that the state government was collecting an additional VAT of 4 and a cess of Re 1, apart from the 31% and 22.5% VAT, on a litre of petrol and diesel respectively.

“The very same people who have increased the price of a litre petrol and diesel beyond 100 and reduced it now by just 5 and 10 are protesting on roads for political mileage,” the state government said via the ad while claiming that it imposed a special duty of “just one rupee” per litre as development and repair of 8,970 km of roads was undertaken.

“The ad is full of lies. How could the state government make false claims based on all-India revenue? It should clearly state how much share it has received from the Centre,” BJP Andhra Pradesh president Somu Veerraju said and claimed that the information in the ad was misleading. The Telugu Desam Party (TDP) also criticized the government and said that it revealed the state government’s true intentions regarding the reduction in fuel prices. It also called the advertisement “fake”.

(with inputs from PTI)

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