State FM says no reduction in revenue mulled thanks to cost of farm loan waiver.
Pune: While petrol prices have reached an all-time high of Rs 80 per litre in the State this month, the Fadnavis government has no plans to withdraw any taxes or surcharges on petro products.
Petrol prices reached Rs 79.50 in Mumbai and Pune last week, making Maharashtra the costliest seller of petrol in the country. In April, the State had added a Rs 3 surcharge on petrol and petro products to compensate for losses due to the liquor ban within 500 metres from any highway.
After the liquor ban was lifted last week, a demand for withdrawal of the surcharge had emerged from various sections of society.
No reduction yet: Govt
However, speaking exclusively to Sakal Times, State Finance Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar clearly denied the possibility of any price reduction in the coming days.
“The loan waiver announced for farmers this year has cost the State coffers an expenditure of Rs 34,022 crore. We cannot take any decision at this point of time which will reduce the State revenue,” he said. Mungantiwar further added that the high cost of petrol is a temporary phase. “Petrol prices are rising nationally and may drop in the coming few days,” Mungantiwar added.
‘Petrol may come under GST’
Meanwhile, spokesperson of All India Petrol Dealers Association (AIPDA) Ali Daruwalla said that while the State government is denying withdrawal of any charges, the Central government has a formula worked out to reduce the cost of fuel.
“Speculation is that when the cost of a barrel reaches $60, the Central government will start reducing taxes on petro products.
At that rate per barrel, the cost of petrol may reach Rs 92 per litre, which will lead to resentment among citizens. So, once the price per barrel reaches $60, the government will start slashing states cesses, followed by Value Added Tax (VAT) and then finally excise. Once this happens, there are also chances that petrol and diesel may be included under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime,” he said.
Meanwhile, working professional Alok Mishra has slammed the State government for high taxes imposed on petrol products.
“We are paying 107 per cent tax to purchase petrol. These taxes are based on hypothetical calculations and unnecessary additional costs must be retracted. We are not importing refined petrol, it is made in India but they still continue to tax us on that. Oil companies are reporting huge profits on grounds of these unethical taxes. As people are not protesting, the government continues with its laid back attitude and charging exorbitantly for fuel,” said.
Mishra further questioned that while Goa can reduce taxes on petrol, which makes it much cheaper than anywhere else in the country, why can’t other States follow suite? “All states should follow Goa’s footsteps. Not only petrol but many other products are much cheaper in Goa. When GST was introduced, there was a promise of One Nation One Tax, but that has clearly not happened,” he added.
Dealers in border areas suffering: AIPDA
- Ali Daruwalla, spokesperson of All India Petrol Dealers Association (AIPDA) said that Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has already written to the states to start reducing taxes on petrol products.
- “AIPDA was the first body to bring to notice that the surcharges on petrol products are being charged irrationally even after the liqour ban was lifted. This is not because we are whistleblowers but because our dealers in the border areas are suffering due to exorbitant prices of petrol. The price of petrol products is much lower in the neighbouring states, which is causing losses to dealers in border areas,” he said.