AAP defends hike in VAT on petrol & diesel, calls it larger public interest
Amid protests by the Opposition parties due to hike in VAT on petrol and diesel, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Thursday defended the hike by calling it in larger public interest.
“The hike is in larger public interest as it will stop hoarding and black marketing. The hike has been
done in accordance with the decision taken in a meeting of Finance Ministers of neighbouring northern states to bring rational and equal VAT rate in the region,” said Ashish Khetan, chairperson of Delhi Dialogue Commission. He said there was no difference of opinion between party and government on this issue.
On Wednesday, Delhi BJP workers led by the state president Satish Upadhyay held a demonstration
at ITO where they were stopped by police on way to Delhi secretariat.
They were protesting against the hike in VAT by Kejriwal government. “Delhi is a tax surplus state unlike neighbouring states and so there was no need to increase VAT rates. “Even Arvind Kejriwal said this while speaking on the budget in the Vidhansabha,” said Upadhyay. In the protest, South Delhi MP Ramesh Bidhuri, Rajya Sabha MP Vijay Goel, Delhi BJP general secretary Ashish Sood were also present along with BJP MLAs and councillors. According to BJP spokesperson, BJP councillor Sumitra Dahiya was seriously injured during police action and was being operated for fixing artificial lens as she lost her sight.
The NSUI, a student wing of the Congress party, also protested outside Kejriwal’s residence at Civil Lines and sought a rollback. On Wednesday, the Delhi government increased VAT on petrol and diesel, and fuel prices in Delhi were increased by Rs 2.78 per litre for petrol and Rs 1.83 per litre for diesel.