With the Congress protesting against the high fuel prices in the country, the BJP on Friday said the states where the opposition party is in power should slash the VAT (value-added tax) on the petrol and diesel prices to provide relief to people.
Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said Rajasthan, which is ruled by the Congress, is among the states with the highest VAT on fuel prices, noting that it is 26 per cent on diesel compared to 20.2 per cent in Gujarat and 36 per cent on petrol compared to 16.6 per cent in Haryana.
“International crude price is at its place. People asking us questions should get VAT reduced in the states ruled by them. This will provide relief,” he said, referring to the Congress.
Asked about the protests staged by the opposition party against the rising fuel prices, Mr Prasad noted that the international crude price plays an important role in the prices of petrol and diesel and said fuel prices have often been brought down in India when the international oil prices fell.
He recalled that when Congress leader P Chidambaram was the Union finance minister, he had retorted that people can very much buy petro and diesel if they can afford ice cream for Rs 20 when he was asked about the high fuel cost.
Mr Chidambaram had made these remarks in 2012 when the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) was in power.
Mr Prasad said this matter demands some sensitivity, noting that the country depended on imports.
Over 30 Congress workers were detained in Delhi on Friday for staging protests at petrol pumps across the city to demand a complete rollback of the fuel price hike.
Congress workers protested in several parts of the country, blaming the Narendra Modi government for the high fuel prices.