Even as the opposition parties, led by the Congress, are organising a Bharat bandh on Monday, poll-bound Rajasthan has shown some mercy to its people by reducing the taxes levied by the state on petrol and diesel.
Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje announced a four-per cent reduction in value-added tax (VAT) on petrol and diesel. The announcement has effectively reduce the fuel prices by Rs 2.5 per litre in Rajasthan.
VAT on petrol will be reduced from 30 to 26 per cent and on diesel from 22 to 18 per cent, Raje announced at a public meeting organised in Rawatsar in Hanumangarh district as part of her 'Rajasthan Gaurav Yatra' on Sunday. The revised rates have been effective from Monday.
The reduction in petrol and diesel prices is seen as a move by the Vasundhara Raje-government to please the voters ahead of the assembly elections. Assembly election in Rajasthan is scheduled for later this year.
The decision will cost the exchequer Rs 2,000 crore.
Petrol and diesel prices set new records on Monday as they continued their upward march on fall in rupee and surge in global crude oil rates.
Reacting on the decision, AICC general secretary and former chief minister Ashok Gehlot said that Raje had to take the decision because of public support the Congress was gaining for Bharat Bandh on Monday.
"The chief minister had to reduce VAT on diesel and petrol because of the public support Congress was gaining for Bharat Bandh on Monday. The reduction is not enough and the relief should also be provided on gas cylinder without any further delay," Gehlot said in a statement.
He said that the former Congress government led by him in Rajasthan had reduced Rs 25 per cylinder and looking at the prices of today, there should be a cut of at least Rs 100 on the gas cylinder.
(With inputs from PTI)