Shimla, October 11: After Gujarat and Maharashtra, Himachal Pradesh government on Tuesday announced to reduce value-added tax (VAT) on the prices of petrol and diesel by 1%. However, this will bring some relief to the people of Himachal but the decision taken from Congress government is to seek full advantage and votes as polls are likely to be held at the end of this year.
The decision of reducing VAT by 1% on the prices of petrol and diesel was taken at a cabinet meeting chaired by chief minister Virbhadra Singh. Himachal became the third state to reduce VAT on prices of petrol and diesel following Gujarat and Maharashtra. Interestingly, Himachal charges 27% VAT on petrol and 16% on diesel, but now the rate would be 26% and 15% respectively.
Meanwhile, the cabinet chaired by CM Virbhadra Singh also decided to amend the Himachal Pradesh Ceiling on Land Holdings Act of 1972 to allow religious institutions to dispose of surplus land by way of sale, gift or any other means provided such transfer would be in the favour of an agriculturist as defined in the Act.
However, the decision from Himachal government came after the Centre had cut excise duty by Rs 2 per litre and urged all the states to cut sales tax or VAT on petrol and diesel by 5 percent to provide further relief to consumers.