BJP’s stir against VAT hike on petrol,diesel

Bhubaneswar: Demanding roll-back of Odisha government’s decision of increasing the rate of VAT to 23 per cent from 20 per cent, Opposition BJP today burnt effigies of chief minister Naveen Patnaik here while launching a state-wide protest.

While BJP activists in different district headquarters staged demonstrations demanding withdrawal of the decision of VAT, the Congress supporters burnt effigies of Patnaik here.

“The price of petrol and diesel have gone up by Rs 1.49 and Rs 1.3 per litre due to increase in the rate of VAT on the fuel,” BJP state president K V Singhdeo said.

Singhdeo said the BJP’s agitation would continue till roll back of the government’s decision to increase rate of VAT on petrol and diesel.

While the Central government has reduced the price of petrol at least six times during a span of six months, the state government’s decision has led to rise in price of petrol and diesel, pointed out senior BJP leader Bijay Mohapatra.

The BJP claimed that the price of all essential commodities will certainly go up as the state increased VAT on the petrol and diesel.

Opposition Congress also criticised both the Centre and the state government over the price of petrol and diesel.

While the Central government increased the rate of excise duty on the petrol and diesel, the state’s BJD government has hiked the rate of VAT on the fuel, said former minister and senior Congress leader Suresh Kumar Routray.