A day after Union Government reduced Excise Duty on petrol and diesel, the Telangana Government has ruled out a reduction in the VAT rate, asserting that it has not increased the rate ever since the State was formed in 2014.

The Centre has increased the price by baarana (12 annas) but going to town by reducing it by chaarana (four annas), Telangana Finance Minister T Harish Rao has said.

“The Union government has increased the Cess on petrol and diesel several times since they attained power in 2014,” he said.

While reducing the Excise Duty on petrol and diesel by ₹8 and ₹6 a litre, respectively, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman asked the State Governments, particularly those who hadn’t reduced the rate in November 2021. She said a similar cut would give relief to the common man.

Talking to reporters after inaugurating a ₹13-crore MRI machine and a ₹9 crore Cath Lab at the Gandhi Hospital here on Sunday, Harish Rao alleged that the Centre had been increasing the prices of petrol and diesel for days in small amounts and making it a spectacle now by reducing it a bit.

“It has increased the burden several times and reduced a bit now, while the State has never increased the burden. How can it ask the States to reduce the rate,” he asked.

“It should first restore the cess and duties to the 2014 levels before asking us to go for a reduction,” he said.

He also pointed out that the LPG price went up to ₹1,050 from ₹400 in 2014. “They did away with a subsidy of ₹400 that people used to get during the earlier regime,” he said.