There is no proposal to bring Petrol-Diesel to GST, GST Council will decide it at the appropriate time: Sitharaman
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has said that there is no proposal to bring petrol-diesel, jet fuel (ATF) and gas under the purview of GST. With this statement of the Finance Minister, all the discussion on reduction of their price by bringing petrol and diesel under the purview of GST came to an end. After the price of petrol reached Rs 100 per litre in some parts of the country, the discussion of bringing petrol and diesel under the purview of GST started gaining momentum. The Center and states will not be able to levy separate taxes for petrol and diesel if they are brought under the purview of GST. At present, the state levies VAT and the Center levy excise duty.
In a written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha on Monday, Sitharaman said that the GST Council will decide in this regard as per the GST Act. The GST Council also has representatives from the states. Till now the council has not proposed to impose GST on these items. He said that the council may consider bringing these items into GST keeping in view the impact on all types of revenue when the time comes.
A year ago, the central government used to levy an excise duty of Rs 19.98 per litre on petrol. Currently, the government charges Rs 32.9. The excise duty on diesel has been increased from Rs 15.83 to Rs 31.8. Experts believe that both the Center and the state can give relief from the rising price of petrol and diesel by reducing their respective taxes. Currently, petrol and diesel prices are at a record level due to the rise in the international price of crude oil. However, there has been no change in the retail prices of petrol and diesel for a fortnight.
A few weeks ago, the finance minister had said that both the Center and the state would have to take a joint decision to cut the duty on petrol and diesel. With the increase in prices of petrol and especially diesel, there is a possibility of a rise in inflation, which may be a hindrance to development.
Meanwhile, in reply to a question in the Lok Sabha, Minister of State for Finance Anurag Thakur said that the Central Government is ready to consider the proposal to reduce the tax on petrol and diesel. States should also think of this. On the question of not bringing their prices under the purview of GST, he said that no state has made such a proposal. If the state wants, the Center has no objection to the idea.
There will be full exploitation of capacity through disinvestment
On another question related to disinvestment, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that better management of the private sector and the latest technology will enable the full potential of PSUs to be exploited. This will benefit the economy. On another question in this regard, Minister of State for Finance Anurag Thakur said that in the process of strategic disinvestment, the government will take care of employment and other effects. Care will be taken to ensure that people do not lose their employment and get all the facilities intact.