Post-protest, Jharkhand puts on hold hike in taxes on diesel

Ranchi, Sep 17 (IANS) Following protests, the Jharkhand government on Thursday put on hold its decision to increase taxes on diesel — but said there will be no change on taxes on petrol.

“Considering the sentiments of the people, the chief minister (Raghubar Das) has decided to withdraw the cabinet decision hiking taxes on diesel. The taxes on petrol will continue,” the state government said in a statement.

Traders, truck drivers’ association and political parties in Jharkhand on Thursday opposed the hike in petrol and diesel prices which was approved two days ago by the state cabinet.

After the application of new taxes, petrol will get costlier by Rs.4.54 per litre. At present the price of petrol is Rs.60.26 per litre and that of diesel is Rs.47.41 per litre.

“We will go to Delhi to meet the prime minister to take up the issue… We will meet ministers in Delhi… and if the issue is still not resolved, we will hand over the keys of petrol pumps resulting in all 1,000 petrol pumps in the state automatically shutting down,” Ashok Singh, president of Jharkhand Petroleum Dealers Association, told reporters here.

Echoing the sentiment, Uday Shankar Ojha, president of the Jharkhand Truck Association, said: “First we will present our demands to the chief minister. And if the issue is not resolved, we will not allow trucks to ply.”

The Congress and the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha on Wednesday burnt effigies of the chief minister, demanding a rollback of the new rates.

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