Union Minister of State for Finance Anurag Thakur on Monday said in the Lok Sabha that the Centre and states needed to jointly discuss reducing taxes on fuel, reported PTI. The Centre imposes excise duty on petrol and diesel while the states levy Value Added Tax.
Thakur was responding to questions from the YSR Congress, Janata Dal (United) and the Congress on what the Centre was doing to control the prices of petrol and diesel, and whether petroleum products will brought under the Goods and Services Tax regime, The Hindu reported.
“The state governments should reduce taxes on petrol, we [the Centre] will also try to reduce tax on petrol,” Thakur said in his response to the questions, according to PTI. “Both the Centre and the states need to think about it [reducing taxes on fuel].”
Thakur added the Centre was also ready to consider bringing petroleum products under the GST ambit. “If the state governments are willing to discuss the subject of bringing up petroleum products under the GST in the GST Council, the Centre has no objection in discussing it,” he said in the Lok Sabha, according to The Hindu.
The Union minister also pointed out that international crude oil prices had gone up from $19 (Rs 1,377 approximately) per barrel in March last year to the current cost of $65 (approximately Rs 4,712).
Earlier this month, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had also said that the Centre and state governments should make a mutual decision on reducing taxes on fuel, to cushion the impact of record high domestic prices of petrol and diesel.
Opposition parties have been criticising the Centre for the sharp increase in fuel prices in the country. They also raised the matter during the Budget session, causing multiple adjournments in both Houses of the Parliament.
The doubling of crude oil prices over the past 10 months has contributed to record rise in fuel rates in India. In some places in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra, the prices have surged past Rs 100.
Taxes and duties account for roughly 60% of the retail price of petrol and diesel in the country. In February, Reserve Bank of India Governor Shaktikanta Das had also called on the Centre and states to act in a coordinated manner to reduce tax on petrol and diesel.