Mumbai: Amid growing chorus to bring down fuel prices, the BJP-led Maharashtra government Wednesday said the state would lose revenue to the tune of Rs 2,200 crore per year if it slashes the prices of petrol and diesel by Rs one per litre. Finance Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar also said the government had already slashed taxes on petrol and diesel to check the surging prices of petrol and diesel at the state level. He said the government is in the favour of bringing petrol and diesel under the ambit of the GST, “but the Congress-led governments are against such move”.
The next meeting of the GST council meeting is scheduled on September 28. “Maharashtra brought down taxes on petrol by Rs 2 per litre and on diesel by Rs 1 per litre in October last year, whereas states like Rajasthan, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh have cut their taxes recently,” he said when asked if there was any delay on part of the government in slashing the taxes. Mungantiwar was speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a BJP meeting held here Wednesday.
The minister blamed the “global forces” for unabated surge in the prices of fuel in the country. Prices of petrol have crossed the Rs 90-mark in more than 20 districts of total 36 districts in Maharashtra. He said rising prices is a matter of concern for citizens as well as for the state government. “The Maharashtra government is in the favour of bringing petrol and diesel under the ambit of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), but the Congress which is heading governments in some states is against this (move). These states think that they may lose their financial independence if fuel is brought under the GST,” he said.
Explaining the fuel arithmetic, the minister said Maharashtra gets 26 per cent in taxes from the retail sale of petrol. When asked about the prevailing prices of petrol and diesel across country, Mungantiwar said, “Maharashtra is one of the five states where prices of petrol are the highest. In case of diesel, Maharashtra is among eight states where prices are the steepest”.