Chennai(PTI): Hitting out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the issue of tax cuts on petroleum products, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin on Thursday said people were aware of the fact behind the issue and pointed out at his government effecting a Rs 3 a litre cut on petrol earlier.
Making a statement in the Tamil Nadu Assembly, Stalin said since 2014, whenever international crude rates dipped, the NDA government did not pass on the benefit to the customers but only pocketed the additional revenue earned from the differential.
Referring to a Tamil saying, he indicated that the PM was not revealing the facts.
While the excise duty levied on petrol and diesel has to be shared with states, that has been reduced, thus affecting the states' revenue, he said.
"While the cess and surcharges are not meant to be shared with the state governments, these have been exorbitantly hiked, thus burdening people and the union government is enjoying the revenue earned from this," the CM added.
He also accused the Centre of "pretending" to have reduced the fuel-related taxes due to "elections in some states," in an apparent reference to the polls held earlier this year in five states, including Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Goa.
"A week after the state elections, the prices were hiked and the Union government imposed further burden on people," he charged.
However, soon after winning the elections and forming the government last year, unmindful of the fiscal position, and according priority to people's welfare, his government had effected the tax cut for petrol even before Centre did, Stalin pointed out.
"People know all this. Who shows real keenness in reducing petrol rates and who pretends and lays the blames on others--I leave it to the people to decide," Stalin said.
He also referred to state Finance Minister Palanivel Thiagarajan issuing a detailed "data-based" statement on the issue earlier in the day.
Palanivel Thiaga Rajan said the taxes on fuel prices levied by the Centre continue to be "exorbitant" and it was neither 'fair' nor 'feasible' for the State to further reduce it.
On Wednesday, Modi had pointed out that some states did not reduce VAT on petrol and diesel despite the cut in excise duty by the Centre last November.
He said the states had done "injustice" to the people by not transferring the benefits of the cut to them.
Speaking at an interaction with chief ministers on the emergent COVID-19 situation in the country, Modi said he wanted to flag the challenges being faced by the people due to the war.
"The situation of war which has arisen, has affected the supply chain, and in such an environment, the challenges are increasing day by day," Modi said in an apparent reference to the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
"This global crisis is bringing many challenges. In such a situation, it has become imperative to further enhance the spirit of cooperative federalism and coordination between the Centre and states," he said.
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Mangaluru: Continuous rainfall in Dakshina Kannada including Mangaluru, is now posing threat to the low-lying areas with flooding if the rain continues for next few hours.
Incidents of wall of the houses and compound walls collapsing, have also been reported from several areas since Wednesday night.
Similarly, cracks were also spotted on the Maravur Bridge following which the Deputy Commissioner instructed the PWD Executive Engineering to visit the spot and inspect the bridge on Thursday morning.
Due to the drainage issues, several areas in Mangaluru including Kottara Chowki were experiencing water logging causing traffic jams and panic among the locals who fear flooding if the rains do not stop.
In several other areas, homes have also been inundated with rain water putting the houses on risk of damages. Residents in these areas were evacuated and were shifted to other localities temporarily.
The Deputy Commissioner also declared holidays to PU and Degree colleges due to rains on June 30. He also added that the decision on declaring holidays to schools and other colleges will be taken after assessing the situation in the district by Friday morning.