New Delhi, sep 20, 2017 : With the “brazen increase” in excise duty on petrol and diesel, leading to a steep hike in their prices, the State Congress on Wednesday demanded the Centre to bring both petrol and diesel under the Goods and Services Tax (GST).
Comparing the prices of petrol and diesel before 2014 and after, Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee president G. Parameshwara said the Modi government has hiked excise duty 14 times in the last three years. Excise duty has been increased from 9.5% to 21.5%. Owing to hike in excise duty, the Central Government’s revenue has increased from ₹77,982 crore in 2014 to ₹2,42,961 crore in September 2017. Where has the additional revenue gone? Did the Modi government pass on the benefits to the public?, he asked.
Mr. Parameshwara said bringing petrol and diesel under the GST would reduce prices of fuel by nearly 50%. Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan too has been advocating for the inclusion of all petroleum products under the ambit of GST.
“While crude oil prices plummet, petrol-diesel prices sky-rocket,” the Congress leader said. Besides excise duty, the cost of crude oil and refining cost declined from ₹ 44.8 a litre to ₹26.7 a litre, oil marketing companies margin increased from ₹3.2 to ₹4.1, dealers’ commission has increased from ₹ 2 to ₹3.2 per litre, VAT is up from 11.9% to 15% per litre during 2014-17, Mr. Parameshwara told presspersons here.
Noting that fuel prices were low in other South Asian countries, the Congress said the NDA Government has been “cheating the public” without substantiating the reasons for the hike. Though globally, crude oil prices per barrel has declined from $96 in 2014 to $52 now, the Centre has not made any efforts to cut fuel prices, he said.
On demonetisation of high value currencies by the Modi government, Mr. Parameshwara said the country’s GDP plummeted from 10.3% in 2010-11 to 5.7% in 2017-18. All sectors of the economy have slowed down owing to demonetisation and implementation of GST.
All economists, including former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, former RBI governors Y.V. Reddy, D. Subbarao, Nobel prize winner Amartya Sen and BJP leader Subramanian Swamy have predicted the depression in the economy, the KPCC chief said.