Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

Even as high fuel prices continue to pinch holes in the pockets of consumers across the country the Minister of State, Petroleum Rameswar Teli on Friday said states will have to reduce taxes on petrol and diesel in order to lower the burden on retail consumers.

He however said there are no immediate plans by the Centre for a roll back on fuel prices as costs have gone up in the international market.

“The Union Government has nothing to do with the increase in the prices of fuel. The price control mechanism is fully linked with the international market. Depending on the price fluctuation of fuel in the international market there has been ups and downs in the Indian market too,” Teli told reporters following his arrival at the Biju Patnaik International Airport in Bhubaneswar. Teli is visiting Odisha to inaugurate a skill development centre in Bhubaneswar later today.

The minister urged states to slash VAT (Value Added Tax) on petrol and diesel to protect retail consumers from high oil prices.

“Price of oil is high in the country as state governments are charging high amount of VATs on fuel. They need to cut down taxes on petrol and diesel in order to bring the prices down and reduce the pressure on retail consumers,” said Teli.

Speaking on the new skill development centre in Bhubaneswar, the minister expressed hope that the youth of the State will reap rich benefits from the new facility.

“We are setting up as many as four skill development centres across the country. One such centre will be inaugurated in Bhubaneswar today. I am hopeful that the youth of Odisha will get the required training here to make themselves eligible for various technical jobs,” he added.