Wednesday, 17 October, 2018

Central Government Wants States to Act On Petrol and Diesel Prices

Petrol, diesel price hike: Centre will not cut excise duty on fuels; no immediate relief for consumers No immediate plans for excise duty cut on petrol, diesel: Official
Johnnie Parks | 25 April, 2018, 04:45

"So, till they reach any agreement, customers have to bear the burden", a senior official from the ministry told TNIE.Even the state governments, which are already ripped off their revenue after the launch of GST, have refused to buckle under the pressure to reduce Value-Added Tax on petrol and diesel.

In all, duty on petrol rate was hiked by Rs 11.77 per litre and that on diesel by 13.47 a litre in those 15 months that helped government's excise mop up more than double to Rs 2,42,000 crore in 2016-17 from Rs 99,000 crore in 2014-15.

The finance ministry official said a reduction of excise duty by a rupee results in a loss of Rs 13,000 crore. Petrol prices are at Rs77.2 per litre in Kolkata, Rs82.35 per litre in Mumbai and Rs 77.29 per litre in Chennai.

Since October 2017, just four states - Maharashtra, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh - have cut Value-Added Tax on petrol and diesel, that too, before February. State-owned oil firms, which have been revising auto fuel prices daily, on Tuesday raised petrol and diesel rates by 14 paisa and 20 paisa per litre, according to a price notification.

However, he pointed out that if the government should stick to its fiscal deficit path announced in the budget, then it is not advisable to cut the duty. "Fiscal considerations are far higher than one or two rupee price impact on consumers", he said.

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The central government feels that the States should come forward and reduce its VAT or sales tax on fuel. He indicated that there is a plan to cut fiscal deficit to 3.3 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP) in the current fiscal year compared to 3.5 percent in the last year. The hike, necessitated due to firming worldwide oil prices, comes on back of a 13 paise increase in rates of petrol effected Saturday and a 15 paise hike on diesel, it said. In India, petrol price is significantly higher compared to the rest of the countries. Every summer, demand - and prices - for fuel shoots up in the U.S. as families hit the highways.

Diesel price in Mumbai: Shockingly, the diesel price in Mumbai has reached to Rs 70.20 per litre-mark, above 19 paisa as against the previous day price of Rs 70.01 per litre. Diesel sold at Rs 65.93 a litre.

The Narendra Modi-government is hoping geopolitical tensions will ease, reducing the strain on crude.

The government has been facing constant criticism from the opposition and public on increase of petrol and diesel prices.

Jaitley had raised excise duty nine times between November 2014 and January 2016 to shore up finances as global oil prices fell, but then cut the tax just once in October past year by '2 a litre.

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