ONI Bureau: After the Centre made necessary arrangements yesterday by reducing the excise duty on fuel prices by Rs 2.5 per litre and allowing the Oil Marketing Companies to absorb another Re 1 per litre, 13 BJP-ruled States followed suit and slashed their VAT component on petrol and diesel by Rs 2.5. Now, the non-BJP ruled States are under pressure to follow suit.
The fuel prices have gone down by Rs 3.15 per litre (including VAT adjustment) in Odisha after the Centre’s move to grant relief to the consumers. However, the state government, which has taken an aggressive stand on the issue of rising fuel prices in the country, is yet to take a decision whether to reduce its own VAT so that consumers in the state get more relief like other BJP-ruled states.
According to sources, hectic parleys are going on at the highest level in Odisha Government. The BJD does not want to allow BJP take political mileage on this issue with a few months to go for the next assembly/general elections. The state government may announce some relief to the consumers sooner than later, it is believed.