Amid outcry over high fuel prices, Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Thursday said the Union government has been appealing to states to cut VAT on petrol and diesel for giving relief to consumers.
Mr Puri was on a day-long visit to Mahasamund, designated as `aspirational district' under a Central scheme, in Chhattisgarh to take stock of various government schemes as part of the nationwide "samajik nyay pakhwada" (social justice fortnight) celebrations called by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Asked by reporters about the rising prices of petrol and diesel, the minister said, “Our effort is to keep the prices under control, therefore the Centre slashed excise duty on petrol and diesel last year and asked the state government to do the same.
"In Chhattisgarh, VAT on petrol and diesel is 24 percent and if it is reduced to 10 percent, the prices will automatically fall… When the consumption is rising, even 10 percent (VAT) is too much,” he added.
All BJP-ruled states have reduced VAT on petrol and diesel, Mr Puri pointed out.