Lucknow, Nov 27 (IANS) Legislators cutting across party lines Tuesday asked the Uttar Pradesh government to slash Value Added Tax (VAT) on diesel.
As soon as the state assembly convened for its third sitting, Pramod Tiwari (Congress) and Hukum Singh (BJP) sought to know if the state government is exploring the idea of cutting VAT to give some relief to farmers.
Parliamentary Affairs and Urban Development Minister Mohd. Azam Khan then told the Congress legislators that while he was seeking some relief for farmers through the VAT route, wasn't the Congress responsible for the hike in prices of diesel and other fuels. Tiwari, in turn, blamed it on the international markets and hike in prices of crude oil and demanded a cut in VAT as has been done by some Congress−ruled states.
To this, Khan asked the Congress leaders if the union government, which had unlimited resources, was open to the idea of subsidizing diesel that was used by farmers.
Pooran Prakash, a Congress MLA, said it was unfortunate that in neighbouring states of Haryana and Delhi, diesel was cheaper than in Uttar Pradesh. "Why cannot the Samajwadi Party government follow the same route?" he asked.
The government, however, said VAT in Uttar Pradesh was much lower than in other states and hence it was not exploring the option of cutting it further.