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    HP in no mood to reduce VAT on petroleum products

    Shimla: Himachal Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal on Saturday made it clear that there is no move in his state to slash the VAT on petrol to offset the impact of steep rise of Rs 7.50 per litre in the price of petrol.

    Interacting with media persons on the conclusion of election campaign for Shimla Municipal Corporation (SMC) polls, Dhumal said, any decision in this regard would be taken after the Congress ruled states like Maharashtra, where tax on petrol and diesel was exorbitantly high, cut VAT on petroleum products.

    In Himachal, the VAT was already very low and the government had reduced VAT on petrol from 27 to 20 per cent and on diesel from 20 per cent to 14 per cent and further reduced it to 9.70 per cent, Dhumal said.

    The UPA should first advise the Congress and its allies led states to take such a step and cut VAT on petrol, the chief minister said.

    Dhumal also asserted that "it is strange that the Centre which has the biggest kitty of funds collected through direct and indirect taxes was asking the states passing through financial crunch to take the lead and was itself not coming forward to give succour to the people".

    "The state government was doing its best to save energy and had even supplied four CFL bulbs free of cost to all domestic consumers, besides giving subsidy worth Rs 300 crore on electricity and food grains of all categories.

    Supplying free uniforms to all school-going girls and boys under the Atal School Uniform Scheme by Himachal government was another step to give relief to the people, he added.