The TDP leaders have always been looking for opportunities to attack the Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy government on any issue, without even doing proper homework on the subject.
More often than not, the TDP leaders indulge in attacks on the Jagan government based on WhatsApp and other social media reports without verifying the facts.
It was once again proved on Saturday, when the state government issued a notification increasing the rate of tax on Natural Gas from 14.5% to 24.5%.
The order issued by special chief secretary Rajat Bhargava said the government was increasing the VAT on natural gas to augment its revenues, which have come down drastically due to Covid-19 pandemic.
"Considering the fact that the revenues of the State are plummeting on one hand and the requirement for finances to implement the pro-poor schemes is escalating on the other hand, it has become imperative to augment the revenues of the State,” Bhargava said, justifying the decision to increase the VAT on gas.
However, within an hour of the television channels airing the news, TDP official spokesperson Panchumarthi Anuradha came up with a statement to attack the Jagan government.
“The chief minister made tall claims of providing financial assistance to womenfolk in the name of YSR Aasara, but the very next day, he sought to rob the women of their money in the name of increasing the VAT on cooking gas, thereby imposing a burden of Rs 1500 crore on the LPG consumers,” she alleged.
The CMO quickly jumped into action and gave a clarification saying that it was a mischievous propaganda by the media and the opposition parties. It said the government had not increased tax on LPG, which is different from natural gas.
“After introduction of GST in 2017, LPG along with all other goods are subsumed in the GST. The state governments have no power to revise the tax rates of GST subsumed goods including LPG. The present GST rate on LPG for domestic use is only 5%. Further, it is clearly mentioned in today's GO that only five petroleum products are kept outside GST. Natural gas is one of those five petroleum products,” the CMO clarified.
Natural gas is used as input in certain industries and in power production. Though it is also used as domestic fuel as"piped natural gas", in certain areas of metro cities, the rate of tax on "piped natural gas" for domestic purposes is only 5% under VAT Act.Today’s notification does not change that rate and piped natural gas for domestic use continues to be taxed at 5% only, it said.