BJP Generating Funds For 2019 Polls Through Hike In Petrol, Diesel Prices: Odisha Finance Minister

**Bhubaneswar:** With diesel price hitting an all-time high and escalating further to gain on petrol price, the farmers and industries in country are going to be the worst affected, said Odisha Finance Minister Sashi Bhusan Behera today.

Behera held the BJP-led NDA government in Centre responsible for the hike in fuel prices stating the 26 per cent VAT collected by Odisha Government on petrol and diesel is far less than the amount collected by about 13 to 14 other States in India.

He further advised the Central Government to take immediate measures to check the prices or face public outrage in future.

Behera alleged though the Central Government had on October 4 announced Rs 2.50 per litre cut in the petrol and diesel prices, the said Re 1 cut on the base price has not been implemented till date.

Even when the crude oil prices have dropped in the international market, the BJP government in Centre, which came to power in 2014, has taken petrol and diesel as its weapon and likely generating funds through them for the upcoming elections, he added.

Refuting the allegations, State BJP general-secretary Prithviraj Harichandan said, not only Odisha Government but all the State Governments in India are aware of the reason behind the hike in petrol and diesel prices.

While about 13 to 14 States have reduced VAT on petrol and diesel prices as asked by the Centre after it announced a cut of Rs 2.5 per litre, Odisha Government has till date not taken any step towards it, he added.

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