Congress stages walkout in Uttarakhand Assembly over fuel prices (Representational image: PTI)
The Uttarakhand government on Tuesday ruled out any relief on fuel prices, saying it had already reduced the cess imposed on the VAT on petroleum products by five per cent last year, prompting main opposition Congress to walk out of the House.
In reply to a debate on rising inflation caused by hike in fuel prices initiated through an adjournment motion by Leader of Opposition Indira Hridayesh, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Prakash Pant said the state government had cut the cess imposed on VAT on petroleum products by five per cent on May 21, 2017.
Besides, the state government had also capped the rate of cess to be imposed on VAT so that common people did not bear the brunt of price rise, he said.
Cornering the Congress, Pant said it was during the party’s tenure that a cess was imposed on VAT on petroleum products on March 2, 2016.
He said in the 10 years of UPA rule, prices of petroleum products had almost doubled, whereas during the last four years of the present dispensation at the Centre, there has been a hike of only Rs 4.40 on petrol and of nearly Rs 6 on diesel.
Pant also claimed that foodgrains and other essential commodities were cheaper in Uttarakhand than in other states.
He said the Centre was serious about the issue, and efforts were underway to keep petrol and diesel prices in check by bringing them under the ambit of the GST.
However, not satisfied with Pant’s reply, the opposition members walked out of the Assembly in protest.