DW BUREAU / Chandigarh
The Opposition Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) on Wednesday said if Punjab Congress president Sunil Jakhar is sincere and honest in mitigating the problem of the common man following rise in petrol and diesel prices, then he should first ask Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh to fslash the VAT on these products on the pattern of Andhara and Rajasthan.
Party spokesperson and former minister Mahesh Inder Singh Grewal, in a hard hitting statement here said Jakhar had no locus- standi to take the issue of spiraling petroleum product prices to streets and create hull-bulla till he makes a similar demand for reduction of VAT from his party’s own government in Punjab.
Grewal said that Punjab government earns in vicinity of Rs 2000 crores as local tax on petrol but a slight reduction in VAT would provide enormous relief to consumers if the Congressmen are really concerned about the people of the state.
The Akali leader pointed out that Rajasthan had cut the VAT on petrol and diesel by four percent while Andhra too had reduced petroleum product prices by Rs 2 per litre on Tuesday to provide relief to the common man.
Earlier, four states and one union territory including Mahrastra, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh had reduced VAT on petrol and diesel following Oct.2017 decision of the Centre to reduce the excise on these two fuels and had urged the state governments to make a matching cut in their own local taxes (VAT) on these fuel to give relief to suffering people.
Grewal said that Congress governments are always keen to exploit any situation to derive political mileage while do precious little for the people.
Shockingly, the Punjab government had not released any installment of dearness allowance (DA) to its employees and pensioners since January 2017 while has piled up to 26 per cent dill date, rued Mr Grewal Moreover, the state government is intentionally delaying the report of 6the Pay Commission and has denied a higher salary to its four lakh plus employees and pensioners, he added, Grewal said that instead of loitering in the streets and sloganeering an harping on price rise of petroleum products, Jakhar is well advised to turn his guns on Punjab chief minister and suggest him to take effective measures to comfort the lives of common and contribute in a positive manner.