Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren announced on Wednesday that his government will provide 25 rupees per litre subsidy on petrol to all ration card holders of the state. The subsidy will be offered for two wheelers at a monthly cap of ten litres per family holding ration card.
“We have decided to provide a relief of Rs 25 per litre on petrol to the poor, labour and middle class. This scheme will be implemented from January 26,” Soren said in an event held at Morhabadi Ground to commemorate the completion of two years of Alliance government consisting of his party Jharkhand Mukti Morcha, Congress and Rashtriya Janata Dal.
Few hours after the announcement Soren’s office giving details of the scheme tweeted: Petrol and diesel prices are skyrocketing. It has had bad impact on the poor and Middle class families. Many poor families are not even being able to ride their motorcycles due to soaring fuel prices. They are not even being able to sell their produce. So, I have decided that if ration card holders buy petrol for their motorcycle or scooter. We will transfer money into their accounts at the rate of Rs 25 per litre. We will implement this scheme from January 26. All such families could avail of this scheme every month.
The issue of high petrol prices has been in the center of Jharkhand politics for the past few months as the opposition BJP is demanding reduction in VAT (Value added tax) on desiel and petrol.
However, according to political observers Hemant Soren has, without revising the existing slab of VAT on Petrol (22% or 17 Ruppees which is higher), provided much needed relief to the poor. Various social organizations have welcomed the government move.
“It is a masterstroke of Hemant Soren since tribal poor form the majority of his party’s vote bank, this will be taken as a major relief among them” said a Jharkhand observer on the condition of anonymity.
However, opposition BJP appeared unimpressed and called the announcement an eyewash. “This would also prove to be a mere announcement like other electoral promises of this government. If the state government is so concerned for the poor, they should have reduced VAT rate on both petrol and diesel and provide relief to common people. This government would again take a U-turn on this announcement as done in the past”, said Jharkhand BJP president Deepak Prakash.