AAP govt urged to roll back Value-Added Tax on petrol, diesel

Fuel price hike Petrol continues to burn hole in pocket crosses Rs 77 mark in Delhi

Fuel prices record 13 revisions since last November

With petrol and diesel prices being hiked for the 11th day in a row, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said that the government is trying to work on a solution. The diesel rate in the city is at Rs 72.96/litre. The central government levies Rs 19.48 excise duty on a litre of petrol and Rs 15.33 on diesel.

The reason behind the increasing fuel prices is the increase of the price of crude oil in the global market and the weakening of INR against United States dollars.

Sachin Pilot, the Congress chief for Rajasthan, on Monday, demanded that the Centre and state governments reduce the excise duty and Value-Added Tax on petrol and diesel respectively.

The government is seriously considering the matter of rising oil prices and is looking to resolve the issue in the coming days.

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The Modi government is hard put to explaining that subsidising petrol and diesel would take away money from social welfare schemes and send India's budget deficit soaring with disastrous consequences in the shape of inflation.

A hit to revenue collections due to an excise duty cut could impact the fiscal situation this year, which has come under pressure just two months into 2018-19 because of high crude oil prices. This is because of the global oil price fluctuation. "We understand that there is a compelling need for a long-term solution, structured solution", he said. On Wednesday, petrol was priced at Rs 84.99 per litre.

M. K. Surana, chairman of state-run fuel retailer and refiner Hindustan Petroleum Corp, said the government should review taxation of petrol and diesel to provide relief to the customer. With this petrol price touched Rs 82 and diesel at Rs 74.60 per litre.

The development comes a day after the government held meetings with oil PSUs but no concrete decision has been finalised to counter the rising fuel prices. Rates were revised on fortnightly basis but not all of the desired hike was passed on to the consumers and that increase not passed on converted into subsidy.

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The government also does not want to lose revenue and is hoping for geopolitical tensions to ease and U.S. shale oil production to rise in order to ease oil prices. State sales tax or VAT varies from State to State.

Under the Manmohan Singh government, the prices of petrol and diesel were regulated and subsides were given to ensure that prices were tolerable and fuels remained cheaper.

While oil in the worldwide market ruled at USD60 a barrel in 2015, today it is at $80 plus and it could well hit $100 by this year-end.

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