Odishatv Bureau

Bhubaneswar: After rejecting the Centre's plea to cut VAT on petrol and diesel by 5 per cent last week, the Odisha government on Tuesday said that it can only reconsider its decision if it is assured of an alternative source of income by the Central government.

"For Odisha government it is not possible to reduce VAT as it will increase the financial burden. Whatever amount we receive as sales tax, we spend it on developmental works. If the Centre makes an alternative provision for income, we will have no problems in reducing VAT," said Finance Minister Sashi Bhusan Behera.

Odisha is charging only 26 percent VAT on petrol and diesel which is the lowest among the BJP-ruled states in the country, Behera added.

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However, targeting Behera, BJP spokesperson Sajjan Sharma said, "If BJP-ruled states can reduce VAT, why can't Odisha government do the same for the consumers."

After cutting the excise duty by Rs 2 per litre on petrol and diesel, the Narendra Modi-led Central government had urged all states to further reduce VAT by 5 per cent to ease burden on consumers.

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