Barely a week after announcing a 5% increase in value-added tax levied on compressed natural gas in the national capital, the Sheila Dikshit government tamely withdrew it on Monday.
The rollback was effected after legislators from the ruling party sounded a warning that a hike will have a detrimental effect on the party’s electoral fortunes.
Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit. Photo: PTI
The rollback will cost the state government a tidy Rs110 crore. The issue is not one of revenue loss, but that of the state government’s inability to withstand any political pressure to take hard decisions. It also makes nonsense of the government’s budgetary proposals: why announce something when you do not have the requisite will to implement it?
In this, the government is not the sole culprit; even the lead opposition party, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), has to share the blame. The BJP had threatened a bandh against the step.