Show big heart, slash taxes on fuel: Maharashtra Deputy CM Ajit Pawar tells Centre



PUNE: Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar on Friday said the Centre should show a “big heart” and reduce taxes on fuel to provide relief to common citizens who are reeling under high prices of petrol and diesel.

Pawar, who also holds the finance portfolio, said the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government has not increased state taxes on petrol and diesel after coming to power in November 2019.

He was talking to reporters after a review meeting here.

Speaking about BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis’s claim about the state government levying “tax on tax”, which has led to petrol retailing at around Rs 105 per litre in Maharashtra, Pawar said it was a complete lie.

“We did not increase any taxes in consecutive budgets. Whatever taxes are there, they are from their (BJP’s) tenure. The Centre takes a big share (of revenue) in the form of taxes, so the Centre should show a big heart and reduce the taxes…it (reducing levies) is not in our hands,” he said.

Asked why the MVA government is not reducing state-level taxes on fuel, he said in the current situation, when Maharashtra is fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, it has incurred income loss of Rs 1.25 lakh crore.

“The income of the state in the form of tax has been reduced by Rs 1.25 lakh crore. On the other hand, we have to fund health, food and other sectors in the current times and if we reduce taxes (on fuel), it will impact all these departments,” Pawar said.

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