Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said the government had suffered Rs 3,200 crore revenue loss in April compared with the year-ago month. The revenue loss, he said, due to lockdown was making it difficult to pay salaries to employees.
The Aam Aadmi Party government in Delhi has defended its decision to increase VAT on diesel and petrol, saying “tough times need tough solutions”. Finance Minister Manish Sisodia’s statement on Twitter comes after the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party launched a blistering assault on the city government over its decision.
“Life isn’t all about rainbows and sunshine. Tough times need Tough solutions – my learning as Finance Minister,” Sisodia said.
The Delhi government has raised VAT on petrol to 30% from 27% and nearly doubled to 30% from 16.75% on diesel to generate revenue which has been affected by the coronavirus-forced lockdown. Accordingly, petrol price in the national capital was hiked by Rs 1.67 to Rs 71.26 a litre and diesel by a steep Rs 7.10 to Rs 69.59 per litre on Tuesday.
Earlier on Sunday, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said the government had suffered Rs 3,200 crore revenue loss in April compared with the year-ago month. The revenue loss, he said, due to lockdown was making it difficult to pay salaries to employees.
“Every year in April, the estimated revenue generation is Rs 3,500 crore. But this year, it’s just Rs 300 crore,” he had said.
Meanwhile, the opposition BJP said that the hike will negatively impact people, especially poor and farmers who are already facing problems due to the coronavirus-induced lockdown.
Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari demanded that Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to withdraw the decision on increasing VAT. He said that this will lead to rise in the prices of all essential items.
“It is pure injustice by the Kejriwal government. The Delhi BJP demands him to withdraw the hike because things like foodgrains, vegetables and other items of daily consumption will become costlier due to it,” he said.
Leader of Opposition in Delhi Assembly Ramvir Singh Bidhuri said Kejriwal should withdraw the hike and termed it as against the people of Delhi.
“The VAT on petrol and diesel in the Arvind Kejriwal regime in Delhi in the past 5-6 years has been hiked by 2.5 times and 1.5 times, respectively. No other state in the country has caused such a high increase in VAT,” he said.