Petrol, diesel should come under GST, says Pradhan

Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Wednesday ruled out any government intervention to disrupt the daily revision in petrol and diesel prices despite the ₹7.3 per litre spike since July, saying the reform will continue.

Saying that many States had drastically increased value-added tax, he said, “It is high time that the GST Council considered bringing the petroleum products in the ambit of GST.”

He, however, remained non-committal on cutting taxes to soften the blow of the relentless rise in prices since the government need to finance huge infrastructure and social projects has to be balanced with consumer needs. Terming the criticism of a spike in rates as unfair, he said the drop in prices for over a fortnight after the daily price revision was introduced has been ignored and only the “temporary” phenomenon of a rising trend was being highlighted.

India relies on imports to meet 80% of its needs and so domestic fuel rates have been aligned to the movement of equivalent product prices in the international market since April 2002. Previously, the rates were changed every fortnight but since June 16 they are being revised daily, Mr. Pradhan said, adding that the daily revision immediately passes on the benefit of any reduction in international oil prices to consumers and avoids sharp spikes by spreading them in small doses.

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