Congress president Rahul Gandhi Friday reiterated the demand to bring petrol and diesel prices under the ambit of Goods and Service Tax. In a tweet addressed to Prime Minister Modi, Rahul Gandhi wrote, “The general public is worried by the skyrocketing prices of petrol and diesel. Please bring them under the ambit of GST.”
The demand comes a day after the Centre announced a cut of Rs 2.50 per litre for petrol and diesel. Of the total reduction, Rs 1.50 per litre of excise duty would be borne by the central government and the remaining 1 rupee cut’s impact will be borne by the oil marketing companies.
The Congress, however, said the fuel price cut announcement was too little, too late and argued that the reduction came because the BJP is staring at defeat in key state elections later this year. While the Congress said the Narendra Modi government was trying to apply “band-aid” after inflicting a thousand wounds on the people, the Left called the government decision a joke played on the people of India.
आदरणीय श्री मोदीजी, आम जनता पेट्रोल-डीजल के आसमान छूते दामों से बहुत ज्यादा परेशान है.
आप कृपया पेट्रोल-डीजल को GST के दायरे में ले आइए।
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) October 5, 2018
In the current structure, both the central and state governments levy a tax on petrol, diesel, crude, and natural gas. The Centre charges excise duty, while each state has its own Value Added Tax (VAT). Added to these are the dealer commissions, all of which inflates the price that consumers pay at the retail pumps.
Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala earlier claimed that the government reducing excise duty on petrol and diesel is a “panic reaction” after facing public ire and an “imminent defeat” for the BJP in upcoming assembly elections in five states, and said the step will bring little relief to the people as it is like “reducing death sentence to life imprisonment”.
Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan had earlier said that bringing auto fuels under GST was being considered by the government as part of a “holistic strategy” to combat the rising prices. No decision has been taken by the GST council yet. Bringing petroleum products under GST would mean a single rate — 18 per cent or 28 per cent — in place of excise duty and state VAT, and lower pump prices.