Blaming the centre for high fuel prices, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said that the union government should rollback the cess of Rs 10 it levies on petrol and diesel before asking states to cut taxes.
She was reacting to the central government's announcement of an excise duty cut on petrol and diesel which would result in a drop in prices by Rs 1.50 per litre. The government has also ordered petroleum companies to absorb Rs 1 per litre, making the total drop in fuel prices to be Rs 2.50 per litre.
"The central government should slash fuel prices by Rs 10 at least. This government at the centre is not bothered about the well-being of the masses... They are only interested about their party (BJP)," Ms Banerjee, whose government had last month cut petrol and diesel prices by Rs 1 per litre, said.
Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today offered relief to the people from the skyrocketing oil prices by slashing oil duty. He has appealed to the states to match the cut, so prices will come down by Rs. 5.
BJP-ruled Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Assam, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh and Tripura have already announced price cuts for diesel and petrol.
The Congress called it "band aid" treatment. "After inflicting 1000 wounds, it is an attempt to put a band aid... We dare them to bring the prices back to what the fuel prices were in 2014," said senior Congress leader Randeep Surjewala.
Mamata Banerjee is one of the most bitter critics of PM Modi and his government. Last month, after the Supreme Court struck down government's plan to make Aadhaar card mandatory for a number of services, she said in a statement that the days of the Modi government were over.
With inputs from PTI