300% jump in 6 years – Central Govt’s taxes on petrol & diesel

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According to the Minister of State Anurag Singh Thakur, the tax collections on petrol and diesel rose to Rs 2.94 lakh crore in the first 10 months of the current fiscal (2020-21), in a written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha.

Central government’s tax collections on petrol and diesel have jumped over 300 per cent in the last six years as excise duty on the two fuels was hiked, the Lok Sabha was informed on Monday. In the first year of office of the Modi government, the central government collected Rs 29,279 crore from excise duty on petrol and Rs 42,881 crore on diesel.

Along with excise duty on natural gas, the central government in 2014-15 collected Rs 74,158 Crore. This figure has bloomed to Rs 2.95 lakh crore between April 2020 to January 2021. He stated that the taxes collected on petrol, diesel and natural gas as a percentage of total revenue have gone up from 5.4% in 2014-15 to 12.2% in the present fiscal.

The excise duty on petrol shot up from Rs 9.48 per litre in 2014 to Rs 32.90 a litre, now while the same on diesel has rocketed from Rs 3.56 a litre to Rs 31.80. Of the present retail price of petrol at Rs 91.17 a litre in Delhi, taxes make up for 60%. Similarly, over 53% of the retail selling price of Rs 81.47 a litre of diesel in Delhi is made up of taxes.

“The total central excise duty (including basic excise duty, cesses and surcharge) was increased by Rs 3 per litre on petrol and diesel with effect from March 14, 2020. It was further revised upwards by Rs 10 per litre on petrol and Rs 13 per litre on diesel with effect from May 6, 2020,” Thakur said.

These increases have systematically taken away the gain that would have accrued to Indian consumers from the sharp drop in international oil prices. The present hike in excise duty is similar to the increase in taxes the government did between November 2014 and January 2016. Over nine instalments, duty on petrol rate was hiked by Rs 11.77 per litre and that on diesel by 13.47 a litre in those 15 months.

The government had cut excise duty by Rs 2 in October 2017, and by Rs 1.50 a year later. But it raised excise duty by Rs 2 per litre in July 2019. “The excise duty rates have been calibrated to generate resources for infrastructure and other developmental items of expenditure keeping in view the present fiscal position,” Thakur added.

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