Union minister for petroleum and natural gas Dharmendra Pradhan has said that the Centre was powerless in bringing petroleum products under the Goods and Services Tax (GST). The prices of diesel and petroleum have risen by around 20% over the past year and bringing them under the GST would lower tax rates and bring relief to the common man.

“The Central Government cannot do anything on this (bringing petroleum products under the GST). It is for the GST Council to decide what should be brought or excluded on the GST list. States have to agree,” he said, after inaugurating a skill development centre for the differently-abled in Mohali.

He also laid the foundation stone for a skill training centre for women.

“The Union government is formulating a plan to lay gas pipeline in 13 districts of Punjab. The facility will first be provided in Mohali,” he said.

Responding to the demands of cabinet minister Charanjit Singh Channi and Anandpur Sahib Member of Parliament Prem Singh Chandumajra, Pradhan added that the Centre would extend full cooperation to the setting up of a Skill Development University at Chamkaur Sahib.

Later, he also laid the foundation stone of the first National Skill Development Institution of Punjab for girls and inaugurated the ‘Pradhan Mantri Hunar Vikas Kendra’ for differently-abled (‘Divyang’) at Saneta in Mohali.

“The institution would cost ₹17 crore and 240 girls would be imparted training here,” he added.

Channi sought the creation of a government portal where those interested in going abroad could register. He added that this would also help foreign companies get talent.

Mohali MLA and cabinet minister Balbir Singh Sidhu also sought a special industrial package for Punjab from the minister.

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