Pune: With petrol prices soaring, the All India Petrol Dealers Association (AIPDA) has urged Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan to do away with double taxation on fuel. The move comes days after the price of petrol reached nearly Rs 80 per litre in Mumbai and Pune.
Recently, State Finance Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar had confirmed with Sakal Times that the government is unlikely to take any decision which will hurt the State revenues following the farmers’ loan waiver, hinting at no immediate respite from high fuel prices. Earlier, AIPDA had speculated that the drought cess of Rs 3 and liquor ban cess of Rs 3 will not be reduced and instead used to compensate for the loan waiver.
Speaking to Sakal Times, Spokesperson of AIPDA, Ali Daruwalla said, “AIPDA has requested that the government immediately initiate measures and put an end to unfair collection of double taxation on fuels. The Central government is levying a massive 46 per cent excise on petrol and petroleum products which is claimed as being spent on various flagship programmes of the government such as road development, sanitation, electrification, Swachh Bharat Mission and others.”
He further added, “Likewise, the State government levies 25 per cent Value Added Tax (VAT) which too is claimed to be utilised in carrying out similar activities. AIPDA would like to point out that having already paid twice, in advance, for the same development activities, the government further levies a cess of Re 1 each for Swachh Bharat, Krishi Kalyan as well as education. Apart from that Rs 3 each is being levied as drought cess and to compensate for losses to the State revenue post liquor ban on highways.”
According to him, there is an urgent need to stop this double taxation regime and that Pradhan’s statements of ‘One Nation One Rate’ is just a rider as the price of fuel differs in each state. “Fuel dealers on state borders are on the verge of shutdown because fuel in neighbouring states is much cheaper. AIPDA, with its sizeable strength of 52,000 dealers, humbly requests the government to take favourable decisions on this front to benefit the citizens. The State has not told Pradhan the facts and the ministry is being misled on the issue. We request them to thus initiate immediate corrective measures,” he said.
He said that Pradhan has set the right foot forward in announcing GST on petrol products based on citizens’ demand for ‘One Nation One Rate’. “But, even bringing petroleum products under GST may not affect the prices as State may continue VAT and cess,” he said.
Daruwalla said that there is a need to put an end to the double taxation. He said the primary reason why AIPDA is voicing this issue is to help the common man as petrol is an essential commodity for which the citizens are paying a premium and bearing an unfair burden.