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BJP leader lashes out at Kiran

Special Correspondent



K. Laxman

HYDERABAD: The BJP has criticised Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy for going back on his promise of continuing the policies of former Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy.

At a press conference here on Monday, party's national secretary K. Laxman referred to the recent hike in petrol prices and wondered why the Chief Minister did nothing to lessen the burden on the common man. He recalled how the YSR government absorbed the shock imposed by the Rs. 50 increase in price of liquefied petroleum gas in the past. He said the hike in petroleum prices would have a cascading effect on all sectors, because the cost of transporting goods was something no business could avoid passing the burden on to the end user. Dr. Laxman said despite the suggestion of Congress president Sonia Gandhi that Congress-ruled States could ease the burden on the common man by reducing the sales tax component, it was not happening. As for India it only the wrong economic policies of the UPA government that led to ever-increasing petroleum prices and skyrocketing of other essential commodities, he said.

While the sales tax on petroleum in Andhra Pradesh was the highest at 33 per cent, it was 22.5 per cent on high speed diesel. The State's revenues by way of sales tax on petroleum products alone was an estimated Rs. 3,700 crore in 2004. It was now Rs. 7,000 crore, working out to 22 per cent of sales tax on all products, he added.

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