Maharashtra: Centre’s duties, taxes more than cost of fuel, says Ajit Pawar
The Centre’s duties and taxes on a litre of petrol are more than the original cost of the fuel, deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar and state’s finance minister said in the legislative Council on Thursday. The minister said while the crude oil price and other processing charges bring the cost to ₹32.82 per litre, the Centre’s duties add another ₹32.90 litre. Pawar said the prices of cooking gas, too, have increased over the past few months and the Centre must immediately take steps to lower the prices and provide relief from inflation.
“The original cost of petrol, after its processing cost, is ₹32.82, and on that ₹32.90 has been levied as [various] tax [and duties] by the Centre. These taxes are more than the original price. The state government, too, has put tax on petrol. Since our government came to power, we have not thought about increasing the tax; the ones that the previous government had levied have been kept,” he said. “As of February 28, the petrol price was ₹97.57 in Mumbai. The state’s VAT [Value Added Tax] was ₹28.17 and Centre’s was ₹32.90. On per litre of diesel, state’s VAT was ₹19.57 and Centre’s taxes were ₹31.80. Due to these taxes and duties, the prices have gone up,” Pawar said.
The deputy CM said the Centre must immediately provide relief on inflation, especially in the backdrop of pandemic. “In times of Covid, it has become difficult for people to survive. If prices increase in such a manner, where should people look for help?”
Explaining further, Pawar said, “When Dr Manmohan Singh was the prime minister, the crude oil prices were US$ 106.85 per barrel and petrol was priced at ₹70. Today, the per-barrel rate of crude oil is US$63 and petrol prices are almost ₹100 [per litre]. Some time ago, the prices of [crude oil] had dipped to US$ 1, but then too the prices of petrol and diesel were not reduced.”
Responding to opposition Bharatiya Janata Party’s claim that the Centre gives back 41% of the duties it collects, Pawar said, “On petrol, the Centre has put duties worth ₹32.90, but the 41% component is from the ₹1.40, and the remaining money goes to the Centre.”