The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in poll-bound state of Gujarat on Tuesday announced a 4% cut in VAT on petrol and diesel, effective midnight of Tuesday-Wednesday."With the reduction in VAT duty, price of petrol will be cut by Rs 2.93 per liter and that of diesel will be down by Rs 2.72 per litre," Vijay Rupani, chief minister, Gujarat, told mediapersons. Today's cut comes after Gujarat had cut prices of auto fuels by 60 paise soon after Centre's decision to reduce basic excise duty by Rs 2 per litre from October 4.Gujarat, that annually earns Rs 12,000 crore by way of VAT on auto fuels, the reduction in VAT duty would now cost exchequer Rs 2,316 crore annually, chief minister said.The deputy chief minister Nitin Patel said that the decision had been taken keeping in view the finances of public transport system as ST buses, which depend largely on cost of diesel.
"The decision will provide a big relief to middle class during Diwali festival and vacation," he said.Reacting to price cuts, Shaktisinh Gohil of Congress said that it was nothing but an eyewash. "You looted people over not just last four-and-a-half years but last 22 years but not cutting taxes. Now that polls are on the horizon, you are talking of bringing down prices. The people of Gujarat are simple but if BJP thinks that it can fool them, they are mistaken," Gohil said.