Former Union Petroleum Minister and Chairman of Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance M. Veerappa Moily on Saturday declined to comment on the State government’s move to increase Value Added Tax on petrol and diesel to generate revenue for loan wavier scheme for farmers.

“I would not like to comment on it. This is not the forum to speak on it,” he told reporters after coming out with 12 other members of the Standing Committee from the new block of Government Lady Goschen Hospital here. The new block has been built using the corporate social responsibility funds of ONGC-MRPL.

Congress, the coalition partner with JD (S) in Karnataka, had been critical about the Union government not reducing duties on fuel thereby contributing to frequent increases in fuel prices. Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy’s move to enhance the state duty on petrol and fuel had embarrassed the party.

More funds

Mr. Moily said the ONGC-MRPL has contributed around Rs. 22 crore for the construction of the new block of the hospital. It has assured Rs. 5 crore for procuring logistics necessary for the new block.

The visit to the new block was part of the review by the committee of the working of public sector undertakings and financial institutions working in the region, he said.

The committee on Saturday had a meeting with members of Kanara Chamber of Commerce and Industry regarding Goods and Services Act and other issues. On Monday, the committee will review working of the Mangaluru International Airport and the New Mangalore Port Trust.

It will also look at the works of the National Highway Authority of India and at extension of special economic zones. The committee will have discussion with Income Tax, Customs and GST officials, Mr. Moily said.

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