Chandigarh: June 10: The Chief Spokesman of Punjab Congress S. Bir Devinder Singh advised the SAD President S. Sukhbir Singh Badal that his comments on the Memorandum submitted by the President PCC Smt. Rajinder Kaur Bhattal regarding reduction of State sales tax on Petroleum products, that his comments were devoid of political wisdom and confirm the manifestation of ignorant, arrogant and prejudiced mind. He claims to know everything yet he knows nothing on the subject.
The Punjab Congress Spokesman said that he would like to put forth following hard facts for the knowledge of ‘worthy SAD President that while commenting on issues pertaining to fiscal matters, thorough knowledge of the impacts of global economy on the oil price , in the International market should be acquired.
Mr. Bir Devinder Singh reminded that when Mr. Sukhbir Badal was the Minister in the NDA Government at the Centre, at that time the then Government had failed to take cognizance of the issue. The Government did not work out any oil pricing mechanism when the Oil prices were really low in the International market during their tenure. They even failed to evolve a reasonable energy strategy keeping in view the Oil Price Index in the International market bearing in mind The Indian perspective. The UPA Government under the Leadership of UPA Chairperson Smt. Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Dr, Manmohan Singh in the last four years of its tenure has already doled out subsidies on Petroleum Products worth Rs.2, 25,000 crore to the Oil Companies and even in the current financial year up to last month a hefty sum of Rs.75,000 crore has already gone as subsidies. Now if the Punjab consumer including the farm sector consumes 8 to 10% of the Petroleum products the share of subsidy during the current financial year comes to Rs.7500 crore for Punjab consumer only. Now the so-called messiah of farmers and the common man S. Parkash Singh Bdall Chief Minister Punjab and his alliance partner the BJP are not ready to shell out a small amount in the form of reduction of Sales Tax on Petroleum products which could be approximately 2 to 3 hundred Crore. We fail to understand when almost all the States in the country have reduced the Sales Tax on these products for the benefit of the common man, what is the tangible justification of Punjab Government in denying this benefit to the people of the state. The tax structure in Punjab requires restructuring on the pattern of whole country. It is shocking to note that leaving aside any reduction of existing sales tax the Punjab Government is even charging sale tax on the enhanced fuel prices.
The Congress Spokesman criticized the sinister silence on the part of Bhartiya Janta Party in Punjab on the issue. They have lost moral courage to voice the decision of their own High Command wherein the BJP President Sh. Raj Nath Singh had requested all BJP Ruled states to reduce sales tax on Petroleum products.
Mr. Bir Devinder Singh further said that he Party has submitted the Memorandum to the Governor for forwarding the same to the Chief Minister who is the appropriate authority for taking action in the matter.