New Delhi: Your hopes for further cut in petrol and diesel prices due to slide in their global prices has just been dashed. Instead of passing the cut to consumers, government has pocketed the benefit by raising excise duty on these two fuels of mass consumption by Rs 1.50 a litre.
This move will boost government revenue by about Rs 13,000 crore a year and help contain budget deficit. This may be seen as an easy and lazy way of raising revenue by government rather than using some innovative measures to mop up fund.
It is a double whammy on the masses, especially the middle class which is expected to not only to pay international price for petrol and diesel but also bear high taxes on these products.
Only last month cabinet had de-regulated diesel prices by making it market linked. If global price of crude start increasing, a part of the burden may be passed on to the consumers.
This move will also be contrary to past directives of the Centre where it has been asking states to rationalise sales tax or VAT on petrol and diesel.
IOC said the excise duty hike will not be passed on to consumers and will be adjusted against reduction in rates that was likely by this weekend. “For the moment, we are not pas-sing on the increase in excise duty. It is being absorbed by companies and will be adjusted aga-inst review in rates whi-ch was due on Satu-rday,” IOC chairman B. Ashok said.