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Karnataka Will Not Accept Centre's Diktat on Fuel Prices, Says CM Siddaramaiah

Siddarmaiah, who also holds the Finance portfolio, took umbrage at the Centres suggestion that since it had cut excise duties by Rs 2, it was now left to the states individually to reduce fuel prices further for their citizens.

Deepa Balakrishnan | CNN-News18deepab18

Updated:October 5, 2017, 8:58 PM IST
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Karnataka Will Not Accept Centre's Diktat on Fuel Prices, Says CM Siddaramaiah
File photo of Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah. (via Getty Images)
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Bengaluru: Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah said on Thursday that there was no question of his government rolling back Value Added Tax on fuel prices in immediate future.

Siddarmaiah, who also holds the Finance portfolio, took umbrage at the Centres suggestion that since it had cut excise duties by Rs 2, it was now left to the states individually to reduce fuel prices further for their citizens.

"He cannot give diktats like that to states," Siddaramaiah told mediapersons, about Dharmendra Pradhan's statement on Wednesday.

"See, they have reduced it only by Rs 2. What is the international price of crude oil? $42/barrel; earlier it was $130/ barrel," he said, adding that the Centre hadn't reduced the prices proportionately. "Let them reduce prices first."

High fuel prices, despite low international prices of crude oil, has fuelled a lot of resentment, with many questioning the Central government why consumers are paying through their nose for petrol and diesel. Taxes on fuel, in fact, are estimated to be higher than the cost of the fuel itself.

Union Minister KJ Alphonse found himself at the centre of a controversy last week when he said that rich who own vehicles must not have a problem paying the taxes.

Karnataka is the first state to defy the Centre's stand that states must now look at bringing down their State VATs.

Other States, including the ones ruled by the BJP, are yet to decide whether or not to go with Centre's suggestion.

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| Edited by: Mirza Arif Beg
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