Sitharaman slams Congress over UPA government decision

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NEW DELHI: Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday termed the oil bonds issued during the Congress-led UPA government’s tenure as “trickery”, saying that the present government is repaying the burden.

“Oil bonds are trickery because if you want to give subsidy to relieve the burden, they [UPA] could’ve cut down excise duty as we did, but UPA didn’t do it. They shifted the burden to oil marketing companies, which constitutes revenue expenditure and doesn’t create assets,” Finance Minister said in her reply in Rajya Sabha to the debate on Union Budget 2023-24.

“UPA shifted the burden in the name of oil bonds which we’re repaying now. The fault is theirs, we are doing the atonement,” she added.

In her reply in Lok Sabha, Sitharaman targeted the Congress over its allegations against the government.

Referring to corruption allegations, she said that the Congress leaders should ‘wash’ their faces with ‘Dettol’.
She also refered to some oppositon ruled states not reducing VAT on feul even as Centre had twice decreased excise duty.

She asked Congress MP Gaurav Gogoi to ask his party, which is in power in Himachal Pradesh, why it hiked VAT on diesel after winning the Assembly elections.

“When the import price increased, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had reduced the excise duty on petroluem products twice — in November 2021 and June 2022 — so as to reduce the price burden on the public.

While we reduced the duty on fuel, there were states which did just the opposite. I want to name them. Gogoi-ji should ask the (Congress-ruled) Himachal government why they increased the VAT on diesel by Rs 3 after winning the (Assembly) elections,” Sitharaman said. (ANI)

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