Kolkata: Urging the Centre to reduce the cess on fuel prices, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday announced that her government will reduce the state tax on petrol and diesel by Re 1 per litre.
"We demand that the Central government reduce the cess on petrol and diesel. The price of crude oil has gone down internationally, but they (Centre) are increasing the prices and also the cess. Both cannot happen simultaneously. The state government does not get any percentage from the cess.
"In this situation, our government has decided to reduce the tax so as to bring down the prices of petrol and diesel by one rupee per litre," she said at the state Secretariat Nabanna.
The cess imposed by Central government has been increased and no attempts are being made to stabilise fuel prices, Banerjee alleged.
"In January 2016, petrol price was Rs 65.12 whereas in September 2018 it is Rs 81.5 per litre. So the petrol price has gone up by Rs 16.48 per litre. Diesel price was Rs 48.80 in 2016 but now it is Rs 73.26, a hike of Rs 24.46," she said.
The Andhra Pradesh government had earlier reduced Value Added Tax (VAT) on petrol and diesel by Rs 2 per litre while Rajasthan slashed tax on fuel by four per cent.
"Our government has not increased sale tax or excise duty on petrol or diesel in these years so that the common people do not get disturbed," Banerjee said.
Expressing concern over rising fuel prices, Merchants' Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Ramesh Agarwal said that the reduced price of fuel in West Bengal will provide relief to the people and business community.