Amidst outcry over high taxes on motor fuel, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday said she would be “glad” to discuss the suggestion of bringing petrol and diesel under the ambit of the Goods and Services Tax at the next meeting of the GST Council. State levies and central excise duty account for more than half of the retail selling prices of petrol and diesel.
For instance, taxes make up for 60 per cent of the present retail price of petrol of Rs 91.17 a litre in Delhi. Excise duty constitutes 36 per cent of the retail price.
Over 53 per cent of the retail selling price of Rs 81.47 a litre for diesel in Delhi is made up of taxes. As much as 39 per cent of the retail price comprises central excise.
Replying to the debate on Finance Bill 2021 in the Lok Sabha, Sitharaman said both the centre as well as state governments levy taxes on petrol and diesel. However, the Centre shares its collection on the fuel with states.
“I would honestly think based on today’s discussion, many of the states would be watching this. In the next GST Council (meeting), if that discussion comes up, I’ll be glad to have it on the agenda and discuss it. I have no issues. Let the states come and discuss it. The call has to be taken there (at the Council),” the minister said.
The GST Council, headed by Union Finance Minister and comprising state finance ministers, is the highest decision making body regarding GST.