Saswat Singhdeo

Jharsuguda: Amidst outrage across the country over rising fuel prices, Union Petroleum Minister, Dharmendra Pradhan today urged Odisha Chief Minister, Naveen Patnaik to reduce VAT on petrol & diesel like other state governments.

"The central government had already deducted excise duty on petrol and diesel a few months ago. Many states have started reducing the tax after we requested them to do so. Odisha government should also do the same," Pradhan said.

The Union Minister said that fuel prices have increased as the value of dollar has gone up in the international market.

"The prices of fuel have increased because the value of dollar has gone up in the international market. The oil producing countries have produced less oil which is why the prices have increased," Pradhan said.

Pradhan also said that he wants petrol & diesel to come under the GST adding that the GST Council should take a decision on this. He said that State governments are more powerful than Centre in GST Council meeting.

Speaking about the Jharsuguda airport, which will be inaugurated on September 22 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Union Minister said that it will be a 'Nuakhai' gift to the people of Odisha.