Kolkata: The West Bengal Government today
appealed to the Centre to reconsider the hike in excise duty
on petrol and diesel in the Union Budget.
"The proposal to increase the Central Excise duty on
petrol and diesel will directly and indirectly aggravate
inflationary spiral, including food price inflation," state
Finance Minister Asim Dasgupta said.
"Imposition of indirect taxes to compensate with the
concessions given in direct taxes should be reconsidered,
besides withdrawing Central Excise duty on petrol and diesel,"
Stating that to control inflation the Centre should
enhance its support for increasing agricultural production
through augmented central plan assistance for irrigation and
other inputs, he said "it will be helpful to resolve these
conflicting views through discussions as early as possible."
He said it was unclear why despite controversial record
of some non-banking financial companies (NBFCs), they were
allowed more banking licenses along with private sectors.
"Even as the Union Finance Minister was fully
appreciative of the social welfare role of the government,
there was a view to limit this role by mechanically imposing
restriction of fiscal deficit as a proportion of Gross
Domestic Product (GDP)," Dasgupta added.