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The Congress has been trying to use rising fuel prices to target the BJP-led government at the Centre. Abhijit Bhatlekar/Mint.
The Congress has been trying to use rising fuel prices to target the BJP-led government at the Centre. Abhijit Bhatlekar/Mint.

Karnataka cuts fuel prices to add pressure on Centre

The government said that sales tax on petrol and diesel would be reduced to 28.75% and 17.73%, respectively

Bengaluru: The coalition government in Karnataka on Monday cut petrol and diesel prices by 2 to help the Congress-Janata Dal (Secular) alliance target the Prime Minister Narendra Modi over rising fuel prices.

“At present, the prices of petrol and diesel are 84.80 and 76.21, respectively, in the state. Considering the recent increase in prices of petrol and diesel, the state government has reduced the sales tax on petrol and diesel," the state government said in a notification on Monday.

The government said that sales tax on petrol and diesel would be reduced to 28.75% and 17.73%, respectively. The decision to cut fuel prices comes around three months after chief minister H.D.Kumaraswamy announced a hike in fuel prices in the 5 July budget to help raise money to fund the JD (S) pre-election promise of a farm loan waiver, that now stands at around 49,000 crore.

The state government, last month, also passed the ‘Karnataka Debt Relief Bill 2018’ as a one-time offer to ease the financial burden of small farmers, agricultural labourers and weaker sections of society.

An official from the chief minister’s office (CMO) said that the decision had been taken after consultations with the finance department to ensure that the price cuts would not adversely affect resource mobilisation avenues.

Several state governments have taken the initiative to cut prices after the Centre made it clear that it is unlikely to do so. West Bengal, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka have announced cuts. The Congress has been trying to use rising fuel prices to target the BJP-led government at the Centre.

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