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Karnataka Fuel Price Hike: Amid Row, CM Says Petrol, Diesel Rates Still Lower Than Many States

Reacting to criticism by BJP of Karnataka govt's decision to increase VAT on petrol and diesel, chief minister Siddaramaiah on Sunday said that state's taxes on fuel remain lower than most south Indian states "and similar economy-sized states like Maharashtra".

Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah with his deputy DK Shivakumar (L)
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Amid the call for protest by BJP over the decision of the Karnataka government to increase VAT on petrol and diesel, chief minister Siddaramaiah on Sunday said that state's taxes on fuel remain lower than most south Indian states "and similar economy-sized states like Maharashtra".

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has announced a protests across Karnataka against the hike in petrol and diesel prices on June 17.

According to officials, the hike is aimed at resource mobilisation. Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, who is also the Finance minister, reviewed the state's revenue generation and fiscal position and took the decision.

The increase in fuel prices comes days after the Lok Sabha election results, in which NDA got 19 out of 28 seats in Karnataka, with the BJP winning 17 and JD(S) two. The ruling Congress in the state won nine seats.

Karnataka Fuel Price Hike: CM Reacts

Reacting to the criticism by BJP, Karntaka CM Siddaramaiah put out a series posts on X on Sunday. He said, "The Government of Karnataka has increased VAT on petrol to 29.84% and on diesel to 18.44%. Even after this hike, our state’s taxes on fuel remain lower than most South Indian states and similar economy-sized states like Maharashtra."

Despite the VAT hike, diesel prices in Karnataka are still lower than in Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh, the chief minister said, adding that his government remains "committed to keeping fuel prices reasonable for citizens."

"The then Double Engine BJP government collaborated to divert Karnataka's resources to other states. The state BJP govt kept reducing VAT on petrol and diesel while the Central govt increased its own taxes," Siddaramaiah said.

The Central Government had increased excise duty on petrol from Rs 9.21 to Rs 32.98 and on diesel from Rs 3.45 to Rs 31.84, Siddaramaiah said, adding that "these high taxes are a burden on citizens".

"Despite subsequent reductions, the current central excise duty on petrol is Rs 19.9 and on diesel is Rs 15.8. We urge the Union Government to reduce these taxes for the benefit of the people," Siddaramaiah added.

The chief minister said Karnataka’s VAT adjustment ensures that essential public services and development projects are funded.

The state remains committed to balanced and responsible governance, he said.

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