The central government is keen on bringing petroleum and petroleum products under the goods and services tax (GST) umbrella, and is waiting for the response of the states over this matter, said a report.
The News18 quoted Finance Minister Arun Jaitley as saying: “Government is in favour of bringing petroleum products under GST. We would like to await consensus of the states and hope states at some stage sooner or later agree to the consensus.”
Currently, different petroleum products are taxed differently across states. Given the huge variance in the value-added tax (VAT) on petroleum products across the states, the petroleum ministry has been advocating for uniformity in taxes.
A case in point is diesel. While the VAT applicable on diesel in Delhi is 16.75 per cent, it is 28.51 per cent in Mumbai.
If the Finance Ministry goes ahead with its plan, it will help bring in uniformity in prices, experts say.
For instance, Bipin Sapra, partner-indirect tax at consultancy firm EY, hopes prices of these products shall also reach a probable uniformity. “Tax burden on the products will be quantified. Since they are not a part of GST, the adjoining extra cost will help quantify the burden,” he said.
“Instead of zero ratings, any finite number will have a massive impact on compliances and also call to question some of the existing arrangements in terms of implementation. Idea is to have a rate that won’t affect the existing GST chain” added Anish De, partner-infrastructure government and healthcare, KPMG India.
According to the Petroleum Planning Analysis Cell (PPAC), which works under the ministry of petroleum and natural gas, total state-wise collection of sales tax on petroleum, oil and lubricant products for 2015-16 amounted to around Rs 1.43 trillion. The total contribution of the petroleum sector to the central exchequer, in 2015-16, was around Rs 2 trillion, including the cess on crude oil, excise duty and custom duty, among others.
This comes at a time when the National Democratic Alliance government wants to improve the energy access for its citizens. India imported 202.85 million tonne (MT) of crude oil in 2015-16 for Rs 4.16 trillion, according to PPAC. For 2014-15, India imported 189 MT of crude oil at a cost of Rs 6.87 trillion.
As you are no doubt aware, Swarajya is a media product that is directly dependent on support from its readers in the form of subscriptions. We do not have the muscle and backing of a large media conglomerate nor are we playing for the large advertisement sweep-stake.
Our business model is you and your subscription. And in challenging times like these, we need your support now more than ever.
We deliver over 10 - 15 high quality articles with expert insights and views. From 7AM in the morning to 10PM late night we operate to ensure you, the reader, get to see what is just right.
Becoming a Patron or a subscriber for as little as Rs 1200/year is the best way you can support our efforts.