Special Correspondent

Announces a 2 per cent cut in sales tax on petrol, diesel

BHUBANESWAR: In a bid provide some relief to the people, the State government on Friday announced a two per cent cut in sales tax being imposed on the sale of petrol and diesel.

In a statement, the government said the reduced rate would come into effect from Saturday. After the 2 per cent reduction in the sales tax, petrol per litre will cost 86 paise less in the State and diesel 64 paise. The government said a steep hike on the prices of petrol and diesel had come as a major burden for the common man, and this had resulted in large-scale discontentment among the people.

The hike in fuel prices would add to the problem of the people especially when inflation rate had increased to 8 per cent, the government added.

The Centre had on Thursday announced a hike of Rs. 5 on petrol, Rs. 3 on diesel and Rs. 50 on LPG cylinder.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had earlier criticised the Centre’s decision and announced that his party, Biju Janata Dal, would oppose the hike in the prices of petrol, diesel, and LPG.

Widespread protest

The BJD workers have already held a series of demonstrations in different parts of the State during the past two days. The Bharatiya Janata Party, BJD’s partner in the government, has also reacted sharply to the hike in the fuel prices. The BJP started a seven-day long protest programme in the State from Thursday. While BJP workers staged a series of demonstrations and roadblock agitations on Thursday, they organised several such protests in different towns of the State on Friday.