Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has strongly flayed the criticism of Prime Minister Narendra Modi that states like Kerala are not reducing tax on petroleum products.
Vijayan alleged in a statement that the Prime Minister was trying to mislead the people that the states were responsible for the price rise of commodities in the country. It was an attempt to pass the buck. The Prime Minister who is aware of the weak financial position of states should not have made such a statement.
Vijayan said that the centre had increased tax on fuel 14 times from 2014 and reduced only four times. Kerala had not increased the tax on fuel even once in the last six year of left-front rule. The centre was imposing cess and surcharges and hence the states were not getting any share from it.
Vijayan also criticised the centre for delaying the GST compensation due to the states, which was aggravating the financial crisis of the states.
Kerala Finance Minister K N Balagopal also strongly reacted to the Prime Minister's statement. He said that fuel and liquor were the major sources of income for Kerala after implementation of GST. Hence it was not possible for the state to cut tax on fuel. The centre should reduce the taxes and withdraw cess and surcharges, he urged.