Oil price rise rocks Assembly, parties train guns over each other

Bhubaneswar: “We are all crying, but not an eye to shed tears”, said an exasperated Leader of Opposition Narasingha Mishra while expressing concern over the unprecedented hike in fuel and petroleum products during the proceedings of the Odisha Assembly today.

Mishra stated that the Centre and State Government are blaming each other but both are equally responsible for the hike in taxes on petroleum products.

While the Centre has denied to reduce the taxes imposed on the petroleum products, it has asked the State to either abolish VAT or reduce the prices of petrol and diesel.

Mishra later urged to at least reduce the prices for the poor consumers and farmers if not for all.

“During Congress reign, the international market price was Rs 135 while it is now Rs 72. So why is the Central Government increasing the price rather than decreasing.Petrol, diesel, kerosene and gas, all these should be included in the GST framework,” suggested Congress Chief Whip Tara Prasad Bahinipati.

“The State Government should decrease the VAT in view of the security and interests of the consumers. Secondly, as State Finance Minister is a member of the Council, he should ensure to include petrol and diesel in GST ambit,” BJP MLA Pradip Purohit said.

On the other hand, Sashi Bhusan Behera, Odisha Finance Minister said that inclusion of petrol and diesel in GST depends upon the agenda of the GST Council. He said, “The proposal the LoP presented in the Assembly today can only be discussed after an agenda comes from the GST Council. Whenever the agenda comes, the state government is ready to hold discussions with other States and put forth its stand.”