CM Bihar suggests reducing petrol and diesel VAT after cutting excise duties

After the Central government slashed the excise duty on petrol and diesel by *8 and *6 respectively on Saturday, Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar hinted at a cut in value-added tax (VAT) on petroleum products.

He told media persons he was glad the Central government had cut the excise duty on petrol and diesel, after meeting with employees of Janata Dal (United).

“We will discuss the issue (about reducing state taxes). Previously, we had reduced the VAT (VAT). I had already stated that once the Centre announced the relief, we would reconsider it (reducing the VAT). We will discuss it (in the cabinet) now that the Centre has done it,” said the CM.

The decision by the Centre to slash the excise duty has brought down the petrol price to *107.24 per liter on Sunday in Patna, down from *116.75 a day earlier. Similarly, diesel prices have dropped to *94.04, $2.19 less than a day ago.

In response to the reduction in excise duty, deputy chief minister Tarkisore Prasad said that the VAT on petrol and diesel had been reduced to *1.88 and 98 paise, respectively. In light of the CM’s announcement that the state might consider reducing the VAT if the Centre offered to relax the VAT, Prasad said, “We will look for ways to provide relief to the people.”

Last month, Prime Minister Modi appealed to the state chief ministers to consider lowering the VAT on petrol and diesel.

Following the Centre’s reduction in petrol and diesel excise duties of *5 and *10, the state reduced the VAT on petrol and diesel by *1.30 and *1.90 respectively, in November last year.

Kumar said that the decision will be made on time regarding the nomination for the Rajya Sabha berth vacated by Union minister RCP Singh in July. In contrast, he refused to comment on RJD’s reaction to CBI raids on former CM Lalu Prasad and his family members and said the best answer would come from those who were raided.