Delhi government mulls cuts in prices of more goods

June 15th, 2008 - 10:16 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Manmohan Singh

New Delhi, June 15 (IANS) After slashing cooking gas price by Rs.40 per cylinder, the Delhi government may Monday offer more sops to the people by reducing taxes on edible oils and other products. The Sheila Dikshit-led Congress government is learnt to have explored the option of reducing sales tax on diesel and petrol too.

A senior government official Sunday said the cabinet would review the price situation in the city, which has been under the rule of the Congress since 1998.

Delhi is scheduled to go to elect its new assembly in November-December this year.

“The cabinet is meeting Monday to discuss among other things the price situation,” the official told IANS, requesting anonymity. He added that some decisions to ease the people’s burden were likely to be taken.

The Dikshit government was among the first in the country to lower taxes to reduce the people’s burden of fuel price hike.

Dikshit is facing stiff opposition from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on the issue of skyrocketing prices of essential goods in the city. The increase in diesel price by Rs.3 per litre has further aggravated the situation.

The reduction in taxes restricted the price of a cooking gas cylinder in Delhi to Rs.304.75 against Rs.344.75 as decided by the central government June 4. Before that, a cooking gas cylinder cost Rs.294.75 in Delhi.

Asked if the government would reduce taxes on diesel and petrol, the official refused to make any specific comments. “The cabinet will take a holistic view of the price rise situation,” he said.

Dikshit, while announcing cut in cooking gas price, reiterated that her government was “determined to do everything possible and ensure that the people do not feel the burden of inflation”.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh last Thursday wrote to all union ministers urging austerity, while Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Murli Deora Wednesday called upon the states to reduce sales tax on petroleum products.

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