Ranchi, Jan 13 (Agencies): The Jharkhand Government imposed a value added tax (VAT) of four per cent on blankets, towels, napkins and handkerchiefs eliciting immediate sharp reaction from Opposition parties.

Earlier, there was no such tax on these items.

“The double standards of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have been exposed. The BJP has launched an agitation against price hike and in Jharkhand it has imposed a VAT on blankets when the entire State is shivering,” said Rabindra Singh, a Congress leader. 

Bone chilling cold has claimed more than 130 lives in the State this winter. In more than 10 of the 24 districts, the minimum temperature is below 5 degrees Celsius. 

By hiking the VAT, the State Government is likely to mop up Rs.300 crore in additional revenue.  The VAT on motor parts has been hiked from four per cent to 12.5 per cent. The VAT on plywood and blackboards has been hiked from four to 12 per cent.