No VAT reduction on petrol, diesel

No VAT reduction on petrol, diesel”

Since 2015, the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government at the Centre has hiked excise on petrol by Rs. 12 per litre, and on diesel by over Rs. 13 per litre in installments.

Union minister for petroleum and natural gas Dharmendra Pradhan had appealed to all the states to reduce Value-Added Tax by five percent to ease the burden on consumers after it cut excise duty by rupees two per litre on petrol and diesel.

Bhubaneswar: Rejecting the Centre's proposal to slash Value-Added Tax on petrol and diesel, the Finance Minister Sashi Bhusan Behera today said that the Odisha government will not reduce Value-Added Tax on fuel as the proposal was not feasible. "Hence, the Centre has to shoulder Rs 1.16 on the Rs 2 while we are sharing the burden of 84 paise", Behera told reporters here. Thus, the Orissa government has been incurring a loss of Rs 1.36 while the Centre is bearing Rs 1.16 per litre, he argued.

Lashing out at the Centre, Behera stated that Union government is responsible for rising fuel prices albeit the global crude prices are on the decline.

While states ruled by the Bharatiya Janata Party are expected to oblige at least to some extent, it is unlikely that non-BJP states like West Bengal, Punjab or Tamil Nadu will take the hint.

The minister said, as per the devolution policy the state government has a share of 42 per cent and the central government has 58 per cent share in excise duty. "Before pointing fingers at the state government, the Centre should have introspected first".

Announcing the excise cut, the government said the rise in the prices of petrol and diesel is also reflected in WPI, or wholesale, inflation, which has increased to 3.24 per cent for the month of August 2017, as compared to 1.88 per cent for the month of July 2017, and which prompted the government to act swiftly. "The statement of Odisha finance minister is unfortunate", said BJP spokesperson Sajjan Sharma.

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