Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan on Thursday reiterated that his ministry wants petrol and diesel to be brought under the domain of Goods and Services Tax (GST). Speaking to Zee media about petrol price reaching 4-year high and diesel touching all-time high, Pradhan blamed the increase in crude oil price.
“The prices of petrol and diesel are rising because of increase in crude oil prices. In the first week of March, the price of crude oil was low and therefore prices of petrol and diesel were also low,” said Pradhan.
He further said, “We want petroleum products to be brought under the domain of GST. My ministry has even written to the Ministry of Finance in this regard on several occasions,” adding that many states are also in favour of the move.
The recent spike in fuel prices have also re-ignited demands for excise tax rates cut. The government has, however, ruled out any immediate reduction in excise duty to cushion the relentless rise. Asked if a second round of excise duty cut was in offing, Finance Secretary Hasmukh Adhia had told PTI, "Not as of now. Whenever we review it, we will let you know".
Two days back, state-owned oil firms, which have been since June last year revising auto fuel prices daily, today raised petrol prices by 12 paise and diesel rates by 13 paise per litre each in Delhi, as per an Indian Oil price notification.
Government had cut excise duty by Rs 2 per litre in October 2017. At that time, petrol price had reached Rs 70.88 per litre in Delhi and diesel Rs. 59.14. However, after the reduction in excise duty, diesel prices had on October 4, 2017 come down to Rs 56.89 per litre and petrol to Rs 68.38 per litre. The October 2017 excise duty cut cost the government Rs 26,000 crore in annual revenue and about Rs 13,000 crore during the remaining part of the current fiscal year.