Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Saturday expressed confidence that the prices of petrol and diesel will reduce in the near future. Talking to mediapersons at an event in Isanpur Mota village, Pradhan said, “Thirteen per cent of the global refining capacity has got reduced due to the storm in United States. In our country, what prices will prevail, is connected to the prices that exist internationally. This structure has been in place for the last 20 years, it is not new. I will tell you, in the last one week the prices of oil have stabilised, and it will continue to reduce slowly.”
The minister also said that he has proposed to bring petroleum products under GST. “We have suggested to the GST council that the way all the states got together for a new tax mechanism, it would be good if petroleum products are brought under GST. But it cannot be imposed on states. Centre and states have to get together and agree on it.”
When asked over the possibility of reduction in taxes on petroleum products to curb the fuel prices, Pradhan said taxes can’t be slashed as funds are necessary for infrastructure development and welfare schemes. “Don’t you need good roads? Don’t you need pure drinking water? Don’t you need good education for your children? Dono haath main laddu nahi ho sakte (You cannot have laddus in both your hands),” Pradhan said. “In democracy, it is from the taxes of the people that welfare schemes are funded… everybody knows that most part of the revenue earned through taxes is spent on the welfare schemes,” he said.
(With PTI inputs)