Lucknow: The Uttar Pradesh government today said that it will not reduce VAT rates to check price rise, saying there are other factors as well behind the rising inflation.
"The state government cannot reduce VAT as it was necessary for all-round development of the state," UP Cabinet Minister Ambika Chowdhury said while replying to questions raised by some BJP members in Vidhan Sabha.
The Minister said that as soon as the SP government came to power, it conducted a comparative study of VAT on 750 articles in neighbouring Delhi and Madhya Pradesh and found that its level on only 81 articles was more in UP than other states.
He said that VAT merely was not responsible for the rising inflation and there were other factors too.
Pointing to recent rise in petrol and diesel prices, the minister sarcastically said "Achhe din aa gaye" (good days have come). This was an apparent reference to the BJP's Lok Sabha elections campaign of "Achhe din aane wale hain" (Good days are about to come).
When BJP leader Satish Mahana said that hike in petrol was due to previous government's decision, Parliamentary Affairs minister Mohd Azam Khan asked "Why it had to be followed. You should not have implemented it".
"It's because of their (UPA government) sins that you (the BJP) are there (at the Centre)," Khan added.