The Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy government, which has been boasting of implementing welfare schemes in a big way despite financial constraints, has chosen to impose a huge burden on the common man by increasing the Value Added Tax on petrol and diesel.
In a late-night order on Monday, the Jagan government issued an order, increasing the VAT on petrol by Rs 1.24 and on diesel by 93 paise per litre. As a result, the new tax on petrol is 31 percent plus Rs 4 and on diesel is 22.25 percent plus Ra 4.
“It is a huge burden on the common man at a time when the income of the people has been falling and the purchasing power has come down. What is ironical is that the crude oil prices across the world have fallen steeply in the last few months,” a senior Telugu Desam Party leader said.
The GO issued by the revenue department claimed that the decision to increase the VAT on fuel was taken as the government’s own resources had come down drastically since March because of the lockdown announced by the Centre.
In March, the revenue was down by Rs 4,480 crore and the shortage continued to be the same in the subsequent months. On the other, the state has got additional burden on account of the Covid-19 pandemic, it said.
The order said the chief minister has been rolling out new welfare schemes covering various social sections over the last few months. The government is also giving Rs 2,000 cash assistance to every Covid-19 affected person at the time of discharge from the hospital. The state claims to be spending Rs 500 on each person during the treatment.
The people had lost their employment opportunities and were struggling to lead the normal life. “This additional tax on VAT will have a cascading effect on various sectors leading to an increase in the prices of essential commodities,” the TDP leader pointed out.