No hike of VAT on petrol: Parrikar


After slashing the petrol price by Rs 11 in April 2012, Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar announced that he would not hike the value added tax (VAT) on petrol, but would continue with the current 0.1 percent, for next five years putting to rest speculations in certain quarters. He was addressing a huge crowd while flagging of the 15-day Jana Sampark Abhiyan, on Tuesday, effectively kick-starting  the Lok Sabha campaign. 
“As promised by me, the petrol prices were slashed immediately after coming to power. Now I assure that petrol tax will not be hiked for next five years during Bharatiya Janata Party’s tenure,” he announced during a public meeting in Panjim on Tuesday. 
Parrikar also sent out a threat to the Congress by reiterating that each and every Congress leader is involved in illegal mining, the impact of which is faced by common people today. “Let the Colvale jail begin its functioning, all Congress leaders will be shown their actual place,” he threatened. 
Chief Minister said that government is currently facing a shortfall of around Rs 250 crore due to reduction of VAT on petrol. “The amount will increase in days to come, but we have several measures in place to cope with the situation,” he said. 
The second edition of Abhiyan is called as a fulfillment of BJP's promise to the voters during its pre election rally in January, 2012. 
The Chief Minister said that there is no impact on revenue due to halt of mining activities. “State has suffered a loss of around Rs 350 crore and it will go upto Rs 500 crore by March end, but there is not much impact on revenue and development,” he said adding ‘around four-five years back, state use to earn hardly Rs 20 to 25 crore from mining and still government used to run the State. The same will be done now”. 
Parrikar assured the crowd that development won’t be sacrificed at any cost and the various assurances given by government would not be delayed due to lack of revenue. “More than 95 percent of assurances would be fulfilled before the government’s tenure ends,” he said. 
 “By March 2013 end, nearly Rs 650 crore would reach to people through various schemes,” he added. 
Pointing to the allegations floated against health minister Laxmikant Parsekar and Water resources Minister Dayanand Mandrekar over their involvement in drug nexus, the State Home Minister said “let Congress prove that their leader Ravi Naik’s son is not involved in it. Then I will investigate into these people’s involvement”. 
He also challenged Congress to bar UPA leader Sonia Gandhi from contesting the elections and coming to power, since she is also holding dual citizenship. “If she can be in power by holding dual citizenship then Glen Ticlo, too can,” he said. 
Chief Minister is confident of winning both-North and South Goa seats for Lok Sabha 2014 elections.  [H]