KOLKATA – Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while blaming the non-BJP states for not reducing value added tax (VAT) on petrol and diesel, ignored the fact that the Union government is giving preferential treatment to BJP-ruled states in payment of central dues, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said on Wednesday.
“In the virtual meeting with the chief ministers of all states on Wednesday, the Prime Minister praised the BJP-ruled state governments for reducing VAT on petrol and diesel, while criticising the non-BJP states for not doing the same.
“However, what he did not say was that the Union government is making differential treatment between the BJP-ruled state and the non-BJP state governments in terms of payment of central dues,” Banerjee told mediapersons here.
She also alleged that in the virtual meeting held on Wednesday, the Prime Minister gave a one-sided lecture without giving opportunity to the chief ministers to speak.
“In West Bengal, we are already giving a subsidy of Re 1 per litre on petrol and diesel. The total dues of the West Bengal government from the Union government is to the tune of Rs 97,000 crore. I request the Prime Minister to pay us even half of that amount and we will provide a much higher subsidy on petrol and diesel than the BJP-ruled states,” Banerjee said.
She also slammed the Prime Minister for claiming reduction in central excise on petrol and diesel and said that the temporary reduction in central excise is nothing compared to the huge excise amount collected by the Narendra Modi-led government since 2014.
“The total central excise on petrol and diesel collected by the Union government since 2014 is Rs 17,31,242 crore. The amount would be much higher if I add the amount collected from tax on cooking gas,” the Chief Minister said.
She also criticised the Prime Minister for not agreeing to the proposal of different state governments for 50:50 share of tax on petrol and diesel between the Union and the state governments.
But the Union government is having 75 per cent share of that tax and now the Prime Minister is asking the state governments to reduce VAT on petrol and diesel, Banerjee said. -IANS