THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Finance Minister Thomas Isaac has rejected the ongoing propaganda over fuel price hike in the social media. As per the ongoing propaganda, when the Central tax is `21.48, the state tax is 34.06 pc. In reality the state tax comes to `17.53, including the cess. But the Centre gets excise duty of `21.48 in addition to the import tax. If petrol is directly imported, the Union Government charges 2.5 pc basic customs duty in addition to customs/countervailing duty. In fact the Centre gets much more than what the Sangh Parivar propagandists say. Last year when the Centre got `2.73 lakh crore, state governments received only `1.89 lakh crore.
The hike in fuel prices is not due to the tax imposed by the state government. Instead it’s due to a regular increase in excise duty by the Centre. After Narendra Modi came to power, excise duty was hiked 16 times. Whenever there was a dip in crude oil price in the international market, the Centre increased the tax. The Union Government received additional revenue to the tune of more than `1 lakh crore due to this move.
Basic duty has been increased from `1.20 to 8.48 per litre. Additional excise duty has been hiked from `2 to 6. Special additional duty went up to `7 from 6. These are the factors for fuel price hike. Now the Sangh Parivar is trying to put the blame on the state government, which hasn’t increased the tax rate even once.
In addition to excise duty, the Union Government gets income tax from oil companies, dividend distribution tax and profit share. Together the Centre got `61,032 crore last year when revenue for the states from these accounts is zero. All issues, including GST, can be discussed. But first, the Modi Government should revoke the tax hike. Discussions can wait till then, he said.
The hike in fuel prices is not due to the tax imposed by the state government. Instead it’s due to a regular increase in excise duty by the Centre