'Not a fact' that fuel more expensive due to states: Uddhav Thackeray's reply to Modi

Thackeray also pointed out that Centre owed Rs 26,500 crore to Maharashtra
Last Updated 27 April 2022, 12:13 IST

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Wednesday hit back at Prime Minister Narendra Modi after asked he asked non-BJP ruled states to reduce the VAT on fuel in the spirit of cooperative federalism.

Thackeray also pointed out that Centre owed Rs 26,500 crore to Maharashtra.

“The Union government owes Rs 26,500 crore to the Maharashtra government. Maharashtra's contribution in direct taxes collection at the national level is 38.3 per cent and its share in the GST is 15 per cent,” Thackeray said in a press statement released through Chief Minister’s Office hours after Modi interacted with Chief Ministers on the Covid-19 pandemic situation.

Thackeray, who heads the Maha Vikas Aghadi government, said: “I am sharing the details with public out of concern. Maharashtra gets 5.5 per cent share of the total central taxes on various items. If the VAT and central taxes are combined, Maharashtra collects maximum amount in the country. Despite being the top contributor, Maharashtra is neglected by the Union government.”

Thackeray said that it would be unfair to say that the state was responsible for the increase in prices of petrol and diesel.

“Today in Mumbai behind every litre of diesel the centre VAT is Rs 24.38 while the state VAT is Rs 22.37. In petrol Rs 31.58 is the centre tax while the state tax is Rs 32.55 . So it is away from truth to state that the petrol and diesel is costly due to the states. The state has already reduced the tax on natural gas to give solace to its citizens. It has reduced the VAT from 13.5 per cent to 3 per cent. This has benefitted the piped gas users, public transport users and has encouraged use of natural gas,” the statement said.

Meanwhile, Leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis said: “Blame game is safe and good for hiding misdeeds but it doesn’t give relief to the common man. When Government of India reduced excise duty on fuel prices last November, it also requested States to reduce taxes, but non-BJP ruled states including Maharashtra are busy only in profiting at the cost of suffering of citizens.”

According to Fadnavis, a two-time Chief Minister, the Prime Minister has appealed all States to reduce taxes on fuel and as Maharashtra already has earned more than Rs 3,400 crore profit, Thackeray and the MVA government should to act immediately and give relief to all Maharashtrians including Marathi manoos.

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(Published 27 April 2022, 10:47 IST)

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