Claiming that the Centre has raised Rs 4 lakh crore in the recent times from increased fuel prices, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday demanded that the money be equally distributed among the states. Banerjee, during an Assembly session, alleged that the Union government has slashed excise duty recently on petrol and diesel, with an eye on the upcoming Assembly elections in five states.
"The central government has collected around Rs 4 lakh crore from the taxes levied from selling cooking gas, petrol and diesel at increased prices. Now, they (BJP) want the states to reduce the VAT. Where will the states get their money from? The Centre should distribute that Rs 4 lakh crore equally among the states," she said while addressing the West Bengal assembly.
The CM further said that the state has been providing several subsidies despite financial constraints.
"Whenever elections are near, they (Centre) bring down the prices. Once that is over, they increase it again. Those lecturing us on oil prices should first answer where the state government will get its money from. The Union government does give us our due funds," she said, targeting the BJP, which has threatemend to launch a "movement" if the VAT on oil is not reduced.
Banerjee also accused the central government of meting out a step-motherly treatment to Bengal during distribution of vaccines among states.
"The number of vaccines doled out to us was much less compared to states such as Uttar Pradesh. We have ensured that not a single vaccine dose gets wasted," she said.