Ready to discuss bringing petrol, diesel under GST at Council meet: Nirmala Sitharaman

The Centre also taxes and the states also tax. If there is this concern about the fuel tax, I think based on today’s discussion - many of the states would be watching this and in the next GST Council if discussion comes up, I will be glad to have it on the agenda and discuss it.

—Nirmala Sitharaman, Finance Minister

New Delhi

Amid 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% of the present retail price of petrol of Rs91.17 a litre in Delhi. Excise duty constitutes 36% of the retail price. Over 53% of the retail selling price of Rs81.47 a litre for diesel in Delhi is made up of taxes.

As much as 39% of the retail price comprises central excise. Replying to the debate on Finance Bill 2021 in the Lok Sabha, Sitharaman said both the Centre and state govts 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 FMs, is the highest decision making body about GST.

AAP in talks with opposition parties

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Tuesday approached all opposition parties requesting them to oppose in Rajya Sabha a bill that seeks to make it clear the “government” in Delhi means the “Lieutenant Governor”, sources said. They said most of the opposition parties support the AAP’s stand against the bill and will be raising their voice against it. The Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Bill, 2021 was passed in Lok Sabha on Monday amid strong opposition from the Congress and the AAP which said that the legislation was "unconstitutional".

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