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Mumbai, Jun 14: The question of whether or not to slash Sales Tax on increased prices of petroleum products has created a political stir in Maharashtra.

While Sharad Pawar's Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and Congress have been at loggerheads over the issue, cracks have also emerged within NCP itself.

Some NCP leaders maintain that there is no difference of opnion with Congress on tax cut. However, senior NCP office bearers differ.

"Under the pretext of saving petroleum companies and corporations, the Centre is increasing its tax kitty and at the same time is asking the state governments to reduce their kitty. It will cause an impact on the state's economy in general and budget's pending for the year," says NCP spokesperson, Ratnakar Mahajan.

NCP leader and Deputy chief minister R R Patil insists there is no dispute. "There is no dispute in the position of NCP and Congress. NCP upholds the Chief Minister's announcement that there will be no Sales Tax on the increased fuel prices," he says.

However, party spokesperson Mahajan makes his party's stand clear in no uncertain terms.

"Our ministers in the cabinet will plead that since we are still in a difficult sitaution, we should not reduce the Sales Tax that we are levying on the petroleum products," he says.

As the tussle between Congress and NCP continues, all eyes are now set on Wednesday's state cabinet meeting, where the proposal on Sales Tax cuts will be discussed and a decision will be taken.


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