In a first, non-premium petrol breaches INR 100-mark in Raj.
Jaipur, Feb. 18 (IANS): Continuing its northbound trend in Rajasthan, the price of non-premium petrol crossed the INR 100-mark for the first time in Sriganganagar district on Wednesday to reach INR 100.13 per litre, while diesel price stood at INR 92.12 a litre.
Despite the recent reduction in VAT by 2 per cent by the state government, there has been no respite for the common people as fuel prices continue to shoot up even as the ongoing Assembly session witnessed an elaborate discussion on rising fuel prices with Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot blaming the Centre for its faulty policies.
Gehlot said in the Assembly on Monday that the Centre has not left any scope for the states to reduce fuel prices.
“The Union government has reduced excise duty or diverse components on fuel price, which was earlier shared with the states and vice versa. The excise duty on diesel was reduced from INR 8 to INR 1, leaving the states with lesser share in their hands. This is the reason why the states can’t reduce the existing taxes on fuel, as it would affect the revenues of the state,” the Rajasthan CM had said.
As per the state government, districts like Shriganganagar and Hanumangarh do not have oil depot and hence petrol-diesel prices are higher by INR 3 or INR 4 in those districts.
The state government officials further confirmed that the share of Central taxes on petrol is INR 32.90, while the state has a share of INR 26.52. The share of Central taxes on diesel is INR 31.80, while for the state it is is INR 19.62.
Speaking on the issue, Gehlot had said in the Assembly that the value added tax (VAT) on petrol and diesel has recently been reduced by 2 per cent in Rajasthan, which will bring down the state revenue by INR 1,000 crore.
Gehlot, in fact, openly took on the Centre, blaming it squarely government for the current crisis.
“Excise duty is Central government’s responsibility. During the UPA rule, oil prices were around $135-140 per barrel. At that time, petrol was available for INR 70-75 per litre. However, now petrol price have touched INR 90-100 per litre levels. Basic excise duty, which was INR 9.48 paise in 2016, has been reduced to INR 1.40. This was the amount through which all the states got their share of dues. However, special excise duty, which was INR 6, was increased to INR 11. This is the amount for which the state government has no share,” Gehlot said.
The CM further alleged that segments which earn no revenue for the states are being increased, while those which earn revenue for the states are being decreased.
Meanwhile, Union minister Smriti Irani during her recent visit to Jaipur had said that the Centre is trying its best to reduce fuel prices. “The Ashok Gehlot government in the state has enough allocations to reduce fuel prices. Now it is up to him (Gehlot) as to how much burden he wants to reduce on the people of the state.”
It needs to be mentioned here that despite the recent VAT reduction in the state, Rajasthan still has the highest VAT at 36 per cent plus INR 1,500 per kilolitre road cess on petrol. On diesel, the state levies 26 per cent VAT and INR 1,750 per kilolitre road cess, officials confirmed.
The neighbouring Madhya Pradesh, on the other hand, has 33 per cent VAT on petrol, INR 4.5 additional VAT and 1 per cent cess, while diesel has 23 per cent VAT, INR 3 additional VAT and 1 per cent. Hence, the prices are less there.