The BJP in Telangana has demanded that the TRS government slash the Value Added Tax (VAT) on petrol and diesel as done by the BJP-ruled states after the Union government cut the excise duty on fuel. State BJP chief Bandi Sanjay demanded that the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) reduce VAT to provide relief to common man. He pointed out that many BJP-ruled states proactively reduced VAT after the BJP-led government at the Union government announced excise duty reduction on petrol and diesel by Rs 5 and Rs 10 per litre, respectively.
BJP MLA Raja Singh demanded that Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao announce reduction in VAT on petrol and diesel, noting that the TRS had been criticising BJP for hike in petrol and diesel prices during the campaign for Huzurabad Assembly by-election. Claiming that Telangana is charging Rs 41 in the form of VAT per litre of petrol, the BJP leader said the state can cut the price by at least Rs 8. "This will bring down the petrol price in the state to Rs 100," he said.
Following the Union government's announcement on Wednesday, the petrol price in Hyderabad came down to Rs 108.18 per litre on Thursday from Rs 114.47, a drop of Rs.6.29. The price of diesel also dropped by Rs 12.78, from Rs 107.40 to Rs 94.62.
Among the BJP-ruled states, Karnataka has announced a drastic cut by reducing the state's share of sales tax on petrol from 35% to 25.9%, and on diesel from 24% to 14.34%. Petrol in Karnataka has become cheaper by Rs 13.30 and diesel by Rs 19 per litre compared to the prices on Wednesday.
While the TRS government has not responded to the demands, some leaders of the ruling party pointed out that VAT automatically comes down with the cut in excise duty. TRS leader Krishank described separate statements by the BJP as a publicity stunt. Telangana's Industry Minister and TRS Working President KT Rama Rao re-tweeted Krishank's tweet. Krishnak also pointed out that while Telangana has not increased VAT for the last six years, the Union government increased the excise duty by 400% during the same period.
In 2014 the VAT in Telangana was 31% and it was increased to 35.2% in 2015, but there has been no increase since then. The TRS leader tagged a chart to show how the Union government increased the excise duty. In 2014, when the petrol price was Rs 71.41 per litre, the Union government's excise duty was Rs 9.48. The Union government increased the excise duty to Rs 22.98 in 2020 and further to Rs 32.98 in 2021, as per the figures.