Staff Reporter

Demanding cut in the Sales Tax on petrol and diesel

KOTTAYAM: The Congress will launch an agitation against the State Government, demanding a cut in the Sales Tax on petrol and diesel to lessen the burden on the common man owing to the increase in prices of the two commodities, Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president Ramesh Chennithala said here on Sunday.

At a meeting of the District Congress Committee convened to review the party's election performance, Mr. Chennithala said he hoped the Government would bear a part of the financial burden and express its concern for the people as was demonstrated by the Congress-ruled States.

According to him, the Congress will give time till Tuesday for the State Government to make up its mind on cutting the Sales Tax. If nothing came out of it, the party will launch an agitation on Wednesday. As a first step, KPCC members and MLAs will demonstrate before the Martyrs' Column in Thiruvananthapuram. Demonstrations will be held at the district headquarters too.

He said the Government had nothing to lose by cutting the tax, saying that it would only have to forego the additional income generated through the tax following the increase in prices. The Governments of Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh had already done so, he added.

According to him, there is nothing new in the discussions Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan had held with his Tamil Nadu counterpart on the Maudany issue. The then Chief Minister, Oommen Chandy, had taken up the issue with the then Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, Jayalalithaa, and she too had promised proper medical attention for Maudany. There was not much the State could do in the case, and it was the Tamil Nadu Government that should take action.

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