Petroleum minister Puri blames states for high fuel prices. Cites this reason
Blaming states for the rising petrol prices, Union minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Wednesday said they don’t want to bring the fuel under the ambit of Goods and Services Tax (GST). Speaking to news agency PTI, the petroleum minister said that the Centre kept the tax on fuel unchanged even as the cost of crude oil saw a huge increase. On the other hand, Puri said, the Trinamool Congress-led West Bengal government has increased prices by ₹3.51 per litre since July, taking the per litre cost of petrol over ₹100-mark.
"If your question is do you want the petrol prices to come down then the answer is yes. Now, if your question is why the petrol prices are not coming down, then the answer is because the states don't want to bring it under GST," PTI quoted Puri as saying.
Puri was in West Bengal campaigning for BJP’s candidate Priyanka Tibrewal contesting against West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee in Bhabanipur bypolls.
"The Centre charges ₹32 per litre (as taxes on petrol). We charged ₹32 per litre when the fuel price was USD 19 per barrel, and we are still charging the same even when the price rose to USD 75 per barrel. With this ₹32 per litre, we provide free ration, free housing and Ujjawala, among several other schemes, to the people," he said.
Last week, Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that the matter regarding petrol and diesel was taken up by the GST council only on the direction of the Kerala High Court. She told a press briefing that the members of the GST council were very clear that they don’t want to bring fuel under the ambit of GST.
“On the direction of the court, it was brought up and the members spoke very clearly that they do not want this under GST,” Sitharaman had said.
(With inputs from agencies)