VIJAYAWADA: The state government on Friday promulgated an Ordinance amending the APVAT Act, 2005 to levy and collect Road Development Cess of Rs 1 per litre on petrol and diesel, which will be in addition to the existing levies. The new cess will be implemented from midnight on Friday. Expecting a revenue of around Rs 500 crore per year with the Road Development Cess, Special Chief Secretary (Commercial Taxes) Rajat Bhargava said income generated on the cess will be transferred to the AP Road Development Corporation. Stating that the lockdown severely affected the revenues of the state, the official explained that in April, the revenue realised was Rs 1,323 crore, as against Rs 4,480 crore realised in April, 2019, which accounts for only 29.5 per cent of the expected revenue.
Similar trends were observed in May, June, July and August, he added. Besides the fall in revenues, the Central government has not released the GST compensation for 2020-21, and there has been a steep increase in expenditure on health services to combat Covid-19, he said. The government’s decision drew flak from the AP Lorry Owners Association (APLOA). Speaking to TNIE, APLOA General Secretary Y Eeswara Rao said the cost of fuel is already higher than in neighbouring states. “The prices are Rs 1.50-3 more per litre of petrol and diesel,” he pointed out. He added that despite the fall in crude oil prices, the Centre recently increased the cost of fuel by up to Rs 12 per litre through different taxes.