Kerala will not reduce tax on fuel, says state’s finance minister
“It was Congress, which gave permission to fuel companies to increase the fuel prices in tune with their interest. The BJP is also following it. So, both the BJP and Congress are responsible for the present condition,” said Isaac
ALAPPUZHA: Finance minister TM Thomas Isaac has said that Kerala will not reduce tax on petrol and diesel and he demanded the Centre to bring down the tax on fuel. Isaac said his government has not augmented taxes on fuel. “It is Centre, which increased the excise duty on petrol and diesel. So, they are responsible for fuel price hikes and they should take responsibility,” he said it while talking to reporters here on Sunday. “The state exchequer is facing financial constraints. So, at present it is not possible for the state to bring down the taxes on fuel. When the global crude oil prices have come down, the union government increased the duty on diesel by fivefold and petrol by threefold. They are not willing to reduce the duty when the price of the crude oil goes up. So, they are responsible for the price hike of the fuel,” the minister said. Referring to union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s suggestion to bring petroleum under the Goods and Services Tax (GST), the state finance minister said that the state is not against it. “But the fuel taxes are the second largest revenue sources of the state. So, including it in the GST will adversely affect the state’s financial status. So, the Centre should provide compensation to the state for five years, he said. “It was Congress, which gave permission to fuel companies to increase the fuel prices in tune with their interest. The BJP is also following it. So, both the BJP and Congress are responsible for the present condition,” said Isaac. Replying to the questions related to deep sea fishing, he said that the Congress’ all the campaigning against the state government are failing. “They are making nonsense as allegations. If anybody comes forward showing interest in investing in the state, we will hold discussions with them. But the decisions are taken only as per the policies of the government. But if discussions are held, it doesn’t mean it is a deal and if they submit a memorandum, it doesn’t mean it is an agreement. It was Congress, which gave opportunities to foreigners to engage in deep sea fishing. As per the stand of us, whether the corporate company is domestic or foreign, they should not be allowed for deep sea fishing. The LDF’s slogan is sea is only for our coastal people. The deep sea is under the purview of the union government. Now the BJP is trying to encroach the seashore too,” said Isaac.