‘Hypocrisy’: Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri targets Oppn-ruled states for steep air fares

‘Hypocrisy’: Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri targets Oppn-ruled states for steep air fares

India News

In a tweet, the Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas asked: “Ever wondered why air ticket prices haven’t come down?”

“Aviation Turbine Fuel constitutes about 40% of the cost of airline operations. But West Bengal, Maharashtra & Delhi impose massive 25%+ VAT on ATF while BJP states UP & Nagaland & UT of J&K charge just 1%,” he said.

Terming the row as “hypocrisy” of opposition-ruled states, Puri further said PM Modi ensures affordable air travel to common citizens but added that “these states create impediments”.

“They manufacture protests against ‘oil prices’ but fleece the people to fill their coffers,” Puri added.

On Wednesday, raising the issue of high fuel prices in Opposition-ruled states which did not heed the Centre’s call to reduce Value Added Tax on petrol and diesel, PM Modi urged these states to cut VAT and work “in the spirit of cooperative federalism” in this “time of global crisis”. By not passing on benefits to the people, these states, he said, were doing them an “injustice” and also harming neighbouring states. However, Maharashtra and West Bengal hit back stating that the opposition states were getting “step-motherly” treatment.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said the Centre owed Rs 26,500 crore to the state, and accused the Centre of step-motherly treatment towards Maharashtra, while adding the state government was not responsible for the rise in prices of petrol and diesel.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee hit out at PM Modi asking when would the central government clear all the pending dues it owed to the state, and said that she would reduce the tax on the petroleum products more than the BJP-ruled states.

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