Delhi reduces tax on cooking gas by Rs.40, no bus fare hike

June 5th, 2008 - 10:55 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Manmohan Singh

New Delhi, June 5 (IANS) Heeding the central government’s plea to lower sales tax on petroleum products to reduce the burden of the fuel price hike, the Delhi government Thursday announced a cut of Rs.40 per cylinder on cooking gas. Bus fares are also not to be increased. “The decision has been taken in view of the centre’s request to states to reduce sales tax on petroleum products, thereby minimising the financial burden on the people,” said Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit.

Dikshit also said that there would be no increase in bus fares.

The price of a cooking gas cylinder in Delhi will now be Rs.304.75 against Rs.344.75 as decided by the government Wednesday. Before that, a cooking gas cylinder cost Rs.294.75 in Delhi. The central government Wednesday announced a hike of Rs.5 per litre on petrol, Rs.3 per litre for diesel and Rs.50 per cooking gas cylinder following spiralling prices of global crude.

The decision to reduce sales tax by Rs.40 was taken at an emergency cabinet meeting chaired by Dikshit. The meeting also decided to ban foreign visits by state delegations till the next order.

“Our government is determined to do everything possible and ensure that the people do not feel the burden of inflation. The price of crude oil has sky-rocketed, and hence we are constrained to retain Rs.10 as sales tax on each cylinder. It is minimal, and the people of Delhi will appreciate it,” Dikshit told reporters after the cabinet meet.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh 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.

Dikshit said she would shortly hold a meeting with state-owned oil companies - Indian Oil, Hindustan Petroleum, and Bharat Petroleum - to work out modalities to implement the cabinet’s decision at the earliest.

Asked if her government would consider lowering sales tax on petroleum and diesel as well, Dikshit said her government was alive to the problems being faced by the people, and would do the needful as and when needed.

She said that more and more economy measures would be taken to curb unnecessary government expenditure.

“As a first step, we have decided that no delegation will be allowed to go abroad. The government will also closely monitor the ongoing trend of state expenditure and rationalise it as far as possible,” Dikshit said.

The West Bengal government has also slashed sales tax on petroleum products.

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