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  4. 'Modi hamare baap hain...': Maharashtra minister's response over PM's fuel prices remark

'Modi hamare baap hain...': Maharashtra minister's response over PM's fuel prices remark

The prime minister focussed a big part of his concluding remarks of his meeting with chief ministers to review the COVID-19 situation on the issue of rise in fuel prices which has been a matter of public debate and a cause behind the surge in inflation.

Jayprakash Singh Reported by: Jayprakash Singh New Delhi Updated on: April 27, 2022 21:30 IST
Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Image Source : PTI

Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Highlights

  • PM Modi asked Opposition ruled states to reduce VAT on fuel prices
  • The Prime Minister made remarks in meeting with CMs
  • The Prime Minister's remarks faced a retort from CMs of Maharashtra and West Bengal

Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his interaction with chief ministers on Wednesday flagged the issue of higher fuel prices in many Opposition-ruled states. Keeping in view the benefits to the comman man, the PM urged the states to reduce Value Added Tax (VAT) in "national interest" and work in the spirit of cooperative federalism in this times of global crisis.

However, PM Modi's request attracted a lot of retort from Opposition leaders.

NCP leader and Maharashtra Minister Jitendra Awhad, in return, asked the Centre to first pay back arrears worth Rs 26,000 crore to the state government.

'Modi is the father of the country...': Maharashtra Minister

Jitendra Awhad further quipped, "Modi is the father of the country, we Maharashtra, Bengal are his small children, the father should feed his children first. The states which reduced VAT did not make much difference, the price is less there by two or four rupees." (मोदी देश के बाप है हम महाराष्ट्र ,बंगाल आपके छोटे छोटे बच्चे है , बाप ने अपने बच्चो को पहले भरपेट खिलाना चाहिए। जिन राज्यो ने वैट कम किया ज्यादा कुछ फर्क नही पड़ा दो चार रुपये दाम वहा कम है)

Modi in meeting on Wednesday raised the issue of many states not adhering to the Centre's call for reducing the VAT on petrol and diesel after his government slashed excise duties on them in November last, and called it "injustice" to people living there and also harmful for neighbouring states.

Uddhav says Maharashtra has biggest contribution in country's development 

After Prime Minister's remark on fuel prices asking Opposition ruled states to reduce VAT, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray issued a statement saying Maharashtra has the biggest contribution in the development of the country but the central government has been giving step-motherly treatment to the state in relation to economic matters.

Maharashtra gets 5.5 per cent of the Central tax. The share of Maharashtra in the total direct tax is 38.3 percent. Maharashtra collects the highest 15% GST in the country and is the number 1 state in the country interms of both Direct Taxes and GST. Despite this, the state still owes about Rs 26,500 crore in GST.

The Chief Minister said that the Center is expected to treat all the states equally.

Uddhav clarified that Centre's share is 24.38 percent and the state's share is Rs 22.37 behind the price of one liter of diesel in Mumbai today.

In order to give relief to citizens, the state government has already given tax relief in respect of natural gas. The rate of value added tax on gas has been reduced from 13.5 per cent to 3 per cent.

Maharashtra govt only made profits, says Devendra Fadnavis

Leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis said that it is easy to do blame game and hide misdeeds but it does not give relief to the common man.

When the Central government lowered the excise duty on fuel last November, it asked states to reduce taxes, but non-BJP ruled states, including Maharashtra, only made profits.

Amid this, sources say that the discussion on reducing VAT may come up in the cabinet meeting of Maharashtra government on Thursday.

Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee reacts

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee also issued statement after PM Modi's remarks on fuel prices saying the discussion was one-sided and that she don't agree with the Prime Minister.

"Today's interaction with PM Narendra Modi was completely one-sided and misleading. Facts shared by him were wrong. We have been providing a subsidy of Re 1 on every litre of petrol and diesel for the last three years. We've spent Rs 1,500 crore on this," Banerjee told reporters at the state secretariat.

She claimed there was no scope for the chief ministers to speak at the meeting and hence, they could not counter the prime minister's statement.

"It would have been better had the PM not spoken on fuel price hike in a COVID-19 review meeting, it was his agenda," she said, iterating her demand for a reduction in fuel prices.

Mamata Banerjee said that her government has spent Rs 1,500 crore in the last three years to subsidise petrol and diesel prices in the state.

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