Chief Ministers of Opposition ruled States and senior leaders of Opposition parties attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi over his demand to reduce taxes on petrol and diesel. The Opposition parties are trying to put up a joint fight on the issue of devolution of shares and the additional cess and duties on petroleum products.
Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhara Rao questioned the Prime Minister and said Modi should feel ashamed in making such statements. "Why can't the centre cut taxes instead of asking states? The Centre has not only enhanced taxes, it also collects cess. If you have the guts, explain the enhanced taxes," he asked.
Trinamool Congress promise
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee too minced no words. She challenged the Centre to clear the revenue dues for her State. She urged the Centre not to bulldoze democracy. "Modi should be the last person talking about cooperative federalism because '56 inches' only knows how to accuse, exploit, discriminate and neglect Opposition states," she said. The Trinamool Congress promised that if the Centre clears our dues, government will exempt all taxes from petrol and diesel for the next five years l. "₹97,807.91 crore is due. Modi, let's see if you can deliver," the party said in a statement.
Neither fair nor feasible for Tamil Nadu to further cut fuel taxes: Palanivel Thiaga RajanHe was responding to the comments made by the Prime Minister urging Opposition-ruled states to reduce taxes on auto fuel
Senior Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said Modi's federalism is not cooperative, but coercive. "High Fuel prices - blame states. Coal shortage - blame states. Oxygen shortage - blame states. 68 per cent of all fuel taxes are taken by the centre. Yet, the PM abdicates responsibility. Modi’s Federalism is not cooperative. It’s coercive," Gandhi said.
Former Finance Minister P Chidambaram said on the day the PM exhorted States to cut the VAT rate on petrol and diesel, the Finance Ministry announced that the Centre owes ₹78,704 crore to the States. The amount owed is actually more. If you add the amounts that the States claim are owed to them, the total amount may be bigger. Only the Controller of Government Accounts (CGA) can certify the correct amount. It will be interesting to know why the Finance Ministry embarrassed the PM on the day he chose to admonish the States!l," he said on Twitter.
CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury said the hypocrisy of the Modi Government aasking States to reduce prices is unlimited. "Just like the central excise on petrol, crushing the public. Zooming Unemployment alongwith the central Excise is toxic for India," he said. "FM informed Parliament, that between 2018-21, the Centre earned a whopping ₹8.02L cr. via petro duties. Instead of scrapping these, Modi asks states to reduce, when their revenue share is stagnant," he added.