Maharashtra, Gujarat cut Value-Added Tax on petrol and diesel

Petrol pumps

Uttarakhand Finance Minister Prakash Pant announced on Wednesday that the state government has made a decision to cut the cess and Value Added Tax on fuel by 2% each, ANI reported.

Stalin recalled that in the past, during certain rate revisions of the products, the M Karunanidhi-led DMK government had in the past reduced taxes on petrol and diesel in the state.

For diesel, which is consumed largely by commercial and transport vehicles and hence affects the prices of essential commodities, the Value-Added Tax structure is at 28.41% in seven cities such as Mumbai, Thane and Navi Mumbai and 25.38% in the rest of the state. "This is our Diwali gift to the masses", Mungantiwar said.

The rate cuts were put into effect after Centre eased excise duty on petrol and diesel in light of soaring fuel prices. This means that the state exchequer will have to bear a annual revenue loss of Rs 3,067 crore.

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Put together, the reduction in Value-Added Tax by the Maharashtra government (Rs 2,015 crore) and the revenue loss due to the reduction in central excise duties (Rs 1,052 crore) will cost the state exchequer a total of Rs 3,067 crore annually.

"People are struggling hard due to the oppressive taxation on petrol and diesel which has led to prices of petrol to hover around Rs 70.96 and diesel at Rs 60.04 (in Chennai)", he said.

This decision has pushed Mumbai's fuel prices to a two month low. The State earns around Rs 12,000 crore per annum throughVAT.Becauseofthe reduction in VAT, the State Government now stands to lose out Rs 2,316 cror e annually.

The VAT on petrol in Mumbai, Thane and Navi Mumbai has now come down to 24 per cent from the earlier 26 per cent. Centre's revenues from petroleum products nearly doubled from ₹1,72,066 crore in 2014-15 to ₹3,34,534 crore in 2016-17, while it would part with 42% of the earnings with the State governments. The pump operators have demanded to bring the petrol and diesel into the ambit of goods and services tax (GST) so that the pricing difference among the states will no longer remain. Given the huge difference between the maximum GST rates and current taxation rate on petrol and diesel, the government would require a cess of almost 50-75 percent to make up for lost revenue.

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