CHENNAI: Tamil Nadu’s main opposition AIADMK, a BJP ally, on Sunday hailed the Centre’s decision to cut excise duties on petrol and diesel and urged the state’s ruling DMK to follow suit the step and to implement his sounding promise on reducing the prices of petroleum products to benefit the people.
AIADMK coordinator O Panneerselvam said the Union government would cut excise duty on petrol by a record Rs 8 per liter and on diesel by Rs 6 will help cool the spiral of inflation and to control the prices of essential products and the fares of autorickshaws and taxis.
He also commended the central government for other measures including providing a Rs 200 grant to the poor who got a cooking gas connection under the Ujjwala scheme, for 12 cylinders in a year.
In a statement, the former CM, also known as the OPS, urged the DMK government led by MK Stalin to implement now its promise regarding the reduction of fuel tariffs, made before the Assembly elections of 2021 and benefit citizens more.
In fact, prices for some vegetables in the state, including tomato, were above Rs 100 per kilo, he said, adding that the DMK was bound to deliver on its poll promises.
“Considering people’s welfare and aiming to control prices, inflation and reduce losses incurred by state-run transport companies (operating diesel buses) in addition to implementing the promise of the poll, the Chief Minister (Stalin) should reduce the price of petrol (by another) Rs 2 and Rs 4 for diesel per liter and ensure justice for the people,” Panneerselvam urged.
The DMK government had last year made a reduction in VAT to allow consumers a 3 rupees per liter reduction in the price of petrol.
He had promised to cut petrol and diesel prices by Rs 5 and Rs 4 per litre, if elected to office, ahead of the April 2021 elections which he swept aside. If the DMK kept its word on the rate reduction, the price of petrol and diesel will cost around Rs 99 and Rs 89 respectively, the AIADMK leader claimed.
If the ruling DMK doesn’t, people will see it as “yet another Dravidian model”, he said sarcastically, in an apparent reference to Stalin’s oft-stated development model put forward by his government.
Panneerselvam also pointed out that Congress-led Rajasthan and DFL-led Kerala announced tax cuts following the Center’s move on Saturday.