Mumbai: A day after the nationwide bandh called by the opposing Congress, the state government has decided to push its own proposal to bring petroleum products under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime. A meeting of the GST council will be held on September 28, is likely to make it a reality. Sudhir Mungantiwar, minister for finance and planning claimed once the proposal will be approved by the council, petrol prices will even out. Currently, petrol attracts 35 per cent central and 26 per cent state taxes, which means the consumer pays 61 per cent tax, Rs 9 as additional cess and value-added tax (VAT) charged by the municipal corporations and councils. The Congress and other parties have demanded a reduction in VAT, to bring down fuel prices.
However, Mungantiwar refused to do so and said state or central governments have no right to impose or remove any tax or cess on petrol and diesel. “After the rollout of GST across the country, the right to decide on tax or cess has been awarded to the GST council. The council has been given this right by Parliament and the state legislature. There is no need to challenge or further approve any decision taken by the council,” affirmed the minister. He further said, “We have already given an exemption of Rs 3,067 crore to petrol-diesel users by removing the Rs 2 and Re1 cess on petrol and diesel respectively.