The crude oil price in 2011 was $116.26 and the petrol price was around Rs 70/. In 2014 when the NDA came to power it was around $105. Subsequently, it came down to less than $30. The Government instead of passing on the benefit of falling crude oil price to the customers started to increase the excise duty. The excise duty on petrol and diesel were Rs 9.48 and Rs 3.56 respectively when the NDA came into power. In three years time, the excise duty was raised to Rs 21.48 and Rs 15.33 to mop up the benefit that should have gone to the consumer. In 2017, the government reduces the excise duty by Rs 2/ liter. Some of the State Governments reduced the VAT on these two items. It is the time for the Government of India to reduce the excise duty to 2014 levels or bring them under GST. The GOI made it clear that it is not going to reduce the excise duty. Now the Government says they have nothing to do with the increase in fuel prices and it is all due to rising crude price and falling rupee value against the dollar. When it was able to raise the excise duty, why not decrease it now? Why the common man subjected to such harsh measures?
Some of our members justified the rise in fuel prices saying that it is to develop infrastructure and reduce fiscal deficit. in the country. Is this the only income for the government? It is high time the Government publishes a white paper giving details of the projects it initiated and the money spent on them.
When the prices of petrol and diesel were decontrolled, why the Government is interfering from time to time by increasing the excise duty? Had the benefit of falling crude price was passed on to the consumer there would not have any discussion on this now. The Government is mopping up the benefit and passing on the burden to the consumers. It interferes only when there are elections.
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