Karnataka Minister Defends Fuel Price Hike to Fulfill Election Guarantees
Karnataka Minister Defends Fuel Price Hike to Fulfill Election Guarantees

Bangalore: Defending the decision to raise fuel prices in Karnataka, State Minister for Commerce and Industries MB Patil asserted that the move was necessary to fund guarantee schemes and other developmental work in the southern state. Patil emphasized that despite the hike, fuel rates in Karnataka remained lower compared to other states.

“We need money for Guarantees and development, hence there has been an increase in fuel prices,” he stated. The state government’s decision, which raised petrol prices by Rs 3 and diesel by Rs 3.5 per liter through increased sales tax, faced criticism from the opposition. Threatening statewide protests, BJP Karnataka President BY Vijayendra demanded that Chief Minister Siddaramaiah revoke the hike immediately.

“Faced by defeat in Lok Sabha polls, the chief minister is not ready to accept that the financial situation of the state has deteriorated, but the hike in fuel prices proves it. The government is unable to run the administration because of guarantees, they are unable to get proper resources….The government should withdraw this decision (of fuel price hike),” Vijayendra urged.

Earlier, the Finance Department of the state issued a notification increasing sales tax on petrol to 29.84% from 25.92%, and on diesel to 18.44% from 14.34%, aiming to generate between Rs 2,500 to Rs 2,800 crore in the fiscal year. This decision follows recent Lok Sabha election results, where the NDA won 19 out of Karnataka’s 28 seats.

Opposition leader R Ashoka slammed the Congress-led government, labeling the move as anti-people and claiming it penalizes voters for supporting the BJP. He accused the government of depleting state funds with unsustainable guarantee schemes, while also pledging resistance against what he described as a burdensome tax on the people. The Congress government in the state has set aside Rs 52,009 crore for its flagship five guarantee schemes this year.

Drawing a comparison with other states, Karnataka CM defended the fuel price hike, stating the state’s taxes on fuel remain lower than most South Indian states. Amid heavy criticism from the opposition over the hike in fuel prices in Karnataka, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah took to the social media platform X to address the issue. He took a jibe at the BJP, accusing the previous BJP government of diverting the state’s resources.

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