Thiruvananthapuram, Oct 4: Kerala Finance Minister Thomas Isaac on Thursday refused to reduce Value Added Tax (VAT) by Rs 2.50 on petrol and diesel in the southern state as per the Centre’s request so as to give relief to the people.
The state will do so if the Centre bring the fuel prices down to the level when the Narendra Modi government assumed office in May 2014, Issac told the media here while reacting to Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s statement in this regard.
“Ever since the Modi government assumed office, it has raised excise duty on diesel by Rs 14 and petrol by Rs 9 per litre. You should understand that the reduction effected on Thursday is on this amount. If the Centre is serious, it should reduce the tax to what it was when it assumed office. Then we will also step in,” said Isaac, a former economist.
In a relief to consumers, the Centre on Thursday cut petrol and diesel prices by Rs 2.50 per litre and also asked the states to effect similar cuts.
Jaitley told the media in Delhi that the price cut will be effected through reduced excise duty of Rs 1.50 per litre, while oil marketing companies will absorb a cut of Re 1 per litre.
He appealed to the states to reduce VAT by Rs 2.50 to take the total cut to Rs 5 per litre for the common man.