The BJP and NSUI, the Congress' student wing, on Thursday protested against the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government here increasing value-added tax (VAT) on petrol and diesel, and demanded its immediate rollback."We want that the recent increase in VAT should be rolled back. We foresaw the situation when the AAP raised the VAT slot by raising the amendment bill during the state budget session," Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) state president Satish Upadhyay told IANS.The hike in VAT came into effect from July 16 midnight."This move exposed the dual face of the AAP government. If the AAP has hundreds of crores of rupees to raise the advertisement and publicity budget, then they have no moral right to raise VAT," Upadhyay said.
Saying the hike was not needed as the national capital already had above average VAT collection revenue, Upadhyay said Arvind Kejriwal's government failed to fulfil its election promises made to the people of Delhi.Holding posters, banners and raising slogans against the chief minister and the AAP, a number of protesters assembled near ITO and moved towards the Delhi Secretariat.The NSUI, student wing of the Congress party, also protested outside Kejriwal's residence at Civil Lines and sought a rollback in the prices of petrol and diesel.On Wednesday, the Delhi government increased VAT on petrol and diesel, and fuel prices in Delhi were increased by Rs.2.78 per litre for petrol and Rs.1.83 a litre for diesel.Justifying the hike, a Delhi government official said the decision to raise VAT was taken in the meeting of the finance ministers of northern states on May 21 to bring uniformity in the tax rates of petrol and diesel. This is the first hike in VAT effected by the AAP government since coming to power with a sweeping mandate.