Reduce Excise Duty on petrol, diesel: VTA to Govt

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 28 Sep 2017 09:34:20


Business Bureau,

THE international price of crude oil averaged around $105 per barrel in 2013-14 and over the period prices fell sharply to current average of around $46 per barrel. “However, its benefits couldn’t reach the citizens as the Government hiked Excise Duty on petrol and diesel quite a few times. Due to which the petrol price in city crossed Rs 80 per liter recently, thereby raising concerns of the society over fuel prices in the country,” VTA said.

Taking the issue on priority, Vidarbha Taxpayers Association (VTA) sent a memorandum to Narendra Modi, Prime Minister, Arun Jaitley, Union Finance Minister and Dharmendra Pradhan, Petroleum Minister, requesting reduction of Excise duties on petrol and diesel.

J P Sharma, President of VTA said, “Petrol is nowadays a necessity commodity, as practically every taxpayer is its customer, while diesel remains to be the lifeline of transport sector. Slightest upward hike in prices of petrol or diesel makes a considerable dent in the pocket of common man.”
Tejinder Singh Renu, Secretary of VTA said, “It’s been witnessed that the Government had not reduced prices of petrol and diesel when international price fell. Instead, Government hiked Excise to collect more revenue which certainly goes for the welfare of the citizens only. However, had the crude oil prices remained very high, then the consumers would have kept supporting the Government’s wish to gain more revenue. But, recent hike became difficult to digest.”

VTA highlighted that records shows that annual Excise duties collected from the petroleum sector increased from Rs 77,000 crore in 2013-14 to almost Rs 2,45,000 crore in 2016-17. Likewise, respective state governments also either increased VAT or cess to fill gap created by other revenue shortfalls. VTA requested that when there is upward trend in international crude oil prices, the Central Government must bring down the Excise Duty rather than allowing the oil companies to raise the retail prices. VTA also believes that with GST being enacted in the country to rationalise indirect taxes, it highly recommended that prices of petrol and diesel should also be regulated by reducing Excise Duty.