West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday said that the state government has decided to reduce the fuel prices by Re 1 per litre. The benefit will be come into effect from midnight. West Bengal is the third state to slash fuel prices after Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh reduced the fuel prices by Rs 2.5 per litre and Rs 2 per litre, respectively.
Blaming the Central government for its inability to control the sky-rocketing fuel prices, she said, "In January 2016, the petrol price was Rs 65.12, now it is crossing Rs 81.60. The government increased it by Rs 16.48 per litre."
She added diesel, which was also priced at Rs 48.80 in January, has now reached Rs 73.26, a hefty increase of Rs 24.46 per litre.
"We (the state government) have not increased sales tax and cess in past so many years. Some states that are going for polls have reduced the prices but we have limited income and revenue. We will have to take a step, keeping the common people in mind. The Central government has been taxing heavily so we have decided to reduce the fuel prices by Re 1 per litre."
Mamata Banerjee's party had not participated in the 'Bharat Bandh' protests organised by the Congress-led Opposition on Monday. She said "in principle" her party supported the issue but not the Bandh itself.
Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje announced a four per cent reduction in value-added tax (VAT) on petrol and diesel a day before the Congress-led 'Bharat Bandh'. Similarly, the Andhra Pradesh Assembly passed a resolution to reduce petrol and diesel prices by Rs 2 per litre on Monday. The measures will cost the Vasundhara Raje government around Rs 2,000 crore due to a reduction in price, while Andhra will lose around Rs 1,120 crore.