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Delhi BJP Demands Withdrawal of Hike in VAT on Petrol and Diesel, Manish Sisodia Defends Move

Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari (Image: PTI)

Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari (Image: PTI)

Delhi BJP president Manoj Tiwari demanded Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to withdraw the VAT hike, saying it will lead to rise in the prices of essential items.

The Delhi BJP on Tuesday said the AAP government's decision to hike VAT on diesel and petrol will negatively impact people, especially poor and farmers, already facing problems during the lockdown and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Delhi BJP president Manoj Tiwari demanded Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to withdraw the VAT (value-added tax) hike, saying it will lead to rise in the prices of essential items.

"It's pure injustice by the Kejriwal government. The Delhi BJP demands him to withdraw the hike because things like foodgrains, vegetables and other items of daily consumption will become costlier due to it," Tiwari said.

Finance Minister Manish Sisodia hit back on Twitter, saying life wasn't all about rainbows and sunshine and tough times needed tough solutions.

"Life isn't all about rainbows and sunshine. Tough times need tough solutions - my learning as Finance Minister," Sisodia tweeted.

Petrol price in the national capital was hiked by Rs 1.67 a litre on Tuesday and diesel by a steep Rs 7.10 per litre after the Delhi government raised local sales tax or VAT) on the two fuels.

Leader of Opposition in Delhi Assembly Ramvir Singh Bidhuri said the hike in VAT will negatively impact the people, especially poor, farmers, middle class and transporters.

"The VAT on petrol and diesel in the Arvind Kejriwal regime in Delhi in the past 5-6 years has been hiked by 2.5 times and 1.5 times, respectively. No other state in the country has caused such a high increase in VAT," Bidhuri said in a statement.

He said Kejriwal should withdraw the hike since it was "against the people of Delhi" who were already facing problems due to the lockdown and the COVID-19 epidemic.

East Delhi BJP MP Gautam Gambhir took a dig at the AAP government, saying its economics is unmatched, referring to various schemes like free water and power supply promised by the ruling party before the assembly polls in February this year.

"Before elections - we will give everything free, there is no lack of money. Two moths later - impose two times tax, there is no money even for salaries. Unmatched economics of the AAP," Gambhir tweeted Hindi.

With the fresh hike in VAT, petrol in Delhi now costs Rs 71.26 a litre as against Rs 69.59 previously, oil industry sources said.

Diesel price has been hiked to Rs 69.39 per litre from Rs 62.29.

This follows the Delhi government's decision to raise VAT on petrol to 30 per cent from 27 per cent, previously. Incase of diesel, VAT has been almost doubled to 30 per cent from 16.75 per cent.

first published:May 05, 2020, 15:44 IST