Special Correspondent

Says this will ensure uniform price

  • Different rates of sales tax being levied on petrol, diesel
  • BJP-led government did not increase price of LPG
  • UPA Government increased LPG price twice
  • Slow pace of bio-diesel programme has hit farmers

    CHENNAI: Former Union Minister for Petroleum and BJP leader Ram Naik has urged the Centre to bring petrol and diesel under value added tax (VAT) to have a uniform price throughout the country.

    Talking to reporters here on Thursday, Mr. Naik said while kerosene and liquefied petroleum gas had been brought under VAT, and were being charged 4 per cent sales tax (ST) throughout the country, States were levying different rates on petrol and diesel.

    Steep increase

    Criticising the Centre for "steep increase in price of essential commodities" during the last two-and-a-half years, Mr. Naik said the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance Government had kept prices under check. The steep hike in petroleum prices imposed by the United Progressive Alliance Government had fuelled price rise.

    Mr. Naik said in spite of increasing international price of crude, the NDA Government had not increased the price of LPG. But the present Government had increased it twice, by more than Rs. 50, after it assumed office.

    Ethanol blending

    He said the NDA government, to reduce the burden of imports, had introduced 5 per cent ethanol blending in petrol. The present Government stopped purchasing ethanol from sugarcane farmers. After realising its folly, it had resumed the purchase.

    The bio-diesel programme launched by the previous government was moving at a snail's pace. This had put thousands of farmers who were cultivating jatropha in difficulty.

    Vande Mataram

    The BJP leader said the national executive of the party had decided to take the message of Vande Mataram all over the country.

    It would educate people on the history of the song and conduct camps to explain its significance.

    Mr. Naik was here as the national observer for the BJP State office-bearers' elections.