BJP stir against VAT hike on fuels today

Bhubaneswar: BJP today dubbed the hike in price of petrol and diesel by Odisha government as its gift for coming “New year” and announced demonstrations against the same at all district headquarters.

“While the Centre has been reducing the price of petrol and diesel, the BJD government in Odisha increased the rate of VAT on petrol and diesel, thereby, hiking the price of fuel in the state,” BJP state President K V Singhdeo said.

The BJP’s announcement came a day ate the state Cabinet increased the rate of VAT from 20 per cent to 23 per cent on petrol and diesel. Now the petrol is costlier by Rs 1.49 per litre and the diesel costs Rs 1.33 per litre.

Stating that the hike would lead to a rise in the price of essential commodities in the state, Singhdeo said, “It is strange that while the Centre is trying to bring down inflation, the state has been busy hiking the price.”

Condemning the Naveen Patnaik government’s decision, Singhdeo said there was no difference between the BJD and the UPA.

He pointed out that there had been fall in the price of petrol by Rs 12.39 per litre and Rs 9.17 per litre of diesel due to efforts of the Modi-led NDA government at the Centre.

The state unit of the Samajwadi Party also condemned the price hike with the party activists staging a demonstration here, asking the state government to roll back its decision.