Common people can get relief from the skyrocketing price of petrol and diesel in the coming months. Actually, the government is considering bringing petrol, diesel under the ambit of GST. If this happens, then the price of petrol across the country can come down to Rs 75 and diesel to Rs 68 per liter.
A panel of ministers on Goods and Services Tax (GST) will consider taxing petroleum products under one country and one rate. According to people familiar with the matter, this could be an important step for a potentially big change in fuel price for consumers and government revenue. A panel headed by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will consider the proposal in the 45th GST Council meeting to be held in Lucknow on Friday.
The matter will be brought before the GST Council on September 17, following the Kerala High Court’s direction to bring petrol and diesel under the purview of GST. An official, who did not wish to be named, said that in view of the revenue, higher officials of the GSAT Council are not ready to impose uniform GST on petroleum products.
Approval of three-fourths members required
At the same time, experts say that it is a bit difficult to get petrol and diesel under the ambit of GST. In fact, any change in the GST system requires the approval of three-fourths of the panel’s members. The panel comprises representatives from all states. Some of these are opposed to bringing the fuel under the purview of GST. Those states believe that after the introduction of petrol and diesel under the GST, a significant part of the revenue will go out of the hands of the states. The central government will have to clarify its stand on this first. Then there can be chances of consent.
Petrol and diesel will become cheaper
In March this year, SBI’s Economic Research Department had said in its report that if petroleum products are brought under the purview of GST, then the revenue for the Center and the states will reduce by just 0.4 per cent of GDP. At the same time, after bringing petroleum products under the purview of GST, the price of petrol across the country can come down to Rs 75 and diesel to Rs 68 per liter.
Concession possible on Corona medicines
In the 45th meeting of the GST Council, the concessional rates on essential goods related to Kovid-19 can be reviewed. The last meeting of the GST Council was held on June 12 through video conferencing. In this, the tax rates on materials related to Kovid-19 were reduced till 30 September. Apart from this, the GST Council may consider levying 12 per cent GST on renewable equipment and 18 per cent GST on metal ores other than iron, copper.
government treasury full of petroleum products
The government’s excise duty collection on petroleum products has grown by 48 per cent in the first four months of the current fiscal, and the additional collections achieved during this period are three times the oil bond liability during the entire fiscal. According to data from the Controller General of Accounts under the Union Finance Ministry, the excise duty collection during April-July 2021 exceeded Rs 1 lakh crore as against Rs 67,895 crore in the corresponding period of the previous fiscal.