With fuel prices continuing their upward trend, five northern states on Tuesday held a meeting in Chandigarh for fixing a uniform rate for value added tax (VAT) on petrol and diesel.
Convened by the Haryana Government, this north zone finance ministers and officers meeting was attended by Haryana Finance Minister Abhimanyu Delhi Deputy Chief Minister and finance minister Manish Sisodia, Punjab Finance Minister, Manpreet Singh Badal and senior officers from Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh.
Though the details of decision taken in the meeting were not available till filing of this report, sources said all states discussed the ways to bring down the oil prices and avoid revenue loss in districts bordering states with lower tax with the uniformity in VAT on petrol and diesel.
The Bharatiya Janata Party governments at Centre and Haryana have been facing flak for not bringing down the rising oil prices. The Opposition parties have been blaming the BJP governments for the sky rocketing prices of petrol and diesel by increasing the Central excise duty 11 times on petrol.
While the Centre has been urging the state governments to curb the oil prices by reducing VAT on oil prices, the state governments are yet to follow the advise due to loss revenue from the same.
The Haryana Congress alleges the state BJP government increased the VAT burden by more than five times, increasing it in petrol from 21 per cent to 26.25 per cent and almost doubling the VAT on diesel from 9.24 per cent to 17.22 per cent.