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Onus on centre, not state to bring down fuel prices:Shashi Tharoor

- July 17, 2021

Chennai, July 16(BPNS)

Former Union minister and senior leader of the Congress party, Shashi Tharoor has said that the onus to reduce the fuel prices is with the central government and that the states are not expected to cut fuel taxes. He was speaking to reporters at the Tamil Nadu state Congress party headquarters, Satyamoorthy Bhavan on Friday.

The Congress leader said that the Tamil Nadu finance minister PTR Thiagarajan had informed him that the central government is levying cess on fuel prices and that 96% of the cess amount collected is kept by the centre without sharing with the states.

Tharoor said, “Cess is a very divisive idea as it is not divisible or shared with the states. When the centre keeps 96% of the cess by itself then the onus is on it to reduce the taxes on fuel and bring down prices and not the state governments.”

The senior leader said that since May 4 after the state election results were announced, fuel prices were hiked 40 times. The former union minister said that when fuel prices are increased there is a corresponding increase in the prices of all essential commodities, vegetables, fruits, pulses, and other household items. He also said that this was no ordinary inflation that happens in a healthy economy and added that very little stimulus has been offered by the Narendra Modi government to the economy which was under pressure.

The former union minister called upon the Central government to reduce tax on fuels and cess and provide a large share to the state governments for their smooth functioning. He also said that the past seven years of misrule by Narendra Modi have resulted in the hike in fuel prices and the sufferings of the common man.

The Congress leader said that the central government generally goes for a division of a state only after a request from that state is received and regarding Kongunadu there was no such request or proposal from the state government.

Tharoor said that the Congress party would raise the issues relating to higher fuel prices, higher inflation, mismanagement of Covid 19 situation, and lower stimulus offered by the government in the monsoon session of the parliament which is to commence from Monday onwards.

The former Union Minister for Education also said that a broad discussion regarding NEET has to be conducted on the issues raised by the state of Tamil Nadu and that a solution be found taking into account the interests of the students of the state.

Tamil Nadu Pradesh Congress Committee President, K.S.Alagiri was also present in the press conference of Shashi Tharoor.