Congress leader and former Union Finance minister P Chidambaram today claimed that it is possible for the government to cut fuel prices by Rs 25. However, he said that the government will not do so. He said that the government is looting people, saying it will again cheat people by slashing prices by just Re 1 or Rs 2.
Chidambaram’s remarks come in the backdrop of reports suggesting that the Union Cabinet which will meet later today may cut excise duty on fuel prices to provide some relief to people who are facing heat of the skyrocketing petrol and diesel prices.
“It is possible to cut upto Rs 25 per litre, but the government will not. They will cheat the people by cutting price by Rs 1 or 2 per litre of petrol,” Chidambaram said in a tweet.
He also claimed that the government saves Rs 15 on every litre of petrol due to fall in crude oil prices. Besides, the Centre “puts an additional tax of Rs 10 on every litre of petrol”. “Bonanza to central government is Rs 25 on every litre of petrol. This money rightfully belongs to the average consumer.”
Petrol and diesel prices have touched a record high in recent times in metro cities. On Wednesday, ANI reported that petrol was being sold at Rs 77.17 and diesel at 68.34 per litre in Delhi. In Mumbai, people are shelling out Rs 84.99 for every single litre of petrol and 72.76 for diesel.
The Central government levies Rs 19.48 excise duty on every single litre of petrol and Rs 15.53 on diesel. The state governments also hold the right to add sales tax or VAT on petrol and diesel. This rate varies from state to state. In the national capital, as on May 23, the city government charges Rs 16.34 VAT on a litre of petrol and Rs 10.02 on diesel. According to reports, every rupee cut in excise duty by the government will result in loss of Rs 13,000 crore revenue.
The Congress party has been targeting the government for its failure to check the rising fuel prices. On Tuesday, it questioned the government why it was not bringing petrol and diesel under the ambit of the Goods and Services Tax.
On Tuesday, BJP president Amit Shah had assured that the government was taking the issue of skyrocketing petrol and diesel prices seriously. He had informed that the Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan will meet the officials of oil companies on Wednesday to discuss the matter