Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government on Thursday said it was not in favour of further reducing VAT on petrol even as the state witnessed massive demonstrations, rallies and road blockades protesting the hike in petrol price.
Activists of different political parties like the ruling BJD, opposition BJP, left parties and NCP hit the streets demanding immediate rollback of the hike.
BJD leaders sat on a dharna in front of the Raj Bhavan here and announced the party would continue the statewide agitation against the hike in price of petrol by Rs 7.50 per litre.
Left parties like the CPI(M) and CPI also hit the streets, burning effigies of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and raising anti-UPA slogans. "This will severely hit the common man. This UPA government will be burnt in the petrol flare-up," said CPI(M) state secretary Janardan Pati.
Similar protests were held in Cuttack, Puri and all the district headquarters of the state.
Meanwhile, Finance Minister Prafulla Ghadai said the state government was not in favour of further reducing the rate of VAT on petrol.
"During previous petrol price hike, the state government had reduced the rate of VAT from 20 per cent to 18 per cent. Therefore, it would not be possible this time to further reduce the VAT rate," Ghadai told, adding that Odisha was the only state after Jammu and Kashmir where VAT rate on petrol was less than 20 per cent.