A day after the Centre decided to slash excise duty on petrol and diesel by Rs 2, Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Wednesday urged the state governments to cut Value Added Tax (VAT) on fuel by 5 per cent. “We urge states to take responsibility just like the centre did, in direction of consumer interest. If states slash VAT (on fuel) by 5%, consumers will get more relief,” said Pradhan.
Facing heat from the Opposition over fuel prices, the Centre reduced the basic excise duty on petrol and diesel by Rs 2 per litre — the first time the NDA government has reduced excise duty on petrol and diesel after having raised it 11 times since November 2014. According to a statement by the Finance Ministry, the decision to cut excise duty was taken by the Government in order to “cushion the impact of rising international prices of crude petroleum oil and petrol and diesel on Retail Sale Prices of Petrol and Diesel as well as to protect the interest of common man”.
A senior Finance Ministry official had said on Tuesday that the Central government will nudge states to also reduce VAT on petrol and diesel. The duty reduction will result in an estimated revenue loss of Rs 13,000 crore during the remaining part of the financial year.