Thursday, 21 June, 2018

Surging petrol prices may ease as crude cost declines

Govt considers windfall tax on oil producers; ONGC drops 5% India trying to get resolution soon on rising fuel prices: oil minister
Kelvin Reese | 28 May, 2018, 11:20

In Delhi, petrol costs 77.47 rupees ($1.13) a litre and diesel sells at 68.53 rupees a litre. Petrol price in Mumbai on Monday, May 28, was at Rs 86.08, 15 paise more than yesterday rate.

He said there were several reasons contributing to petrol and diesel price rise including the uncertain political conditions in oil exploring countries and the global market. Petrol has gone up from 119.78ppl to 128.29ppl and diesel has increased from 122.54ppl to 131.15ppl. A similar tax was considered in 2008 when oil prices were on the rise but the idea was dropped after stiff opposition from private sector firms like Cairn India.

Under the scheme, oil producers, who get paid worldwide rates for the oil they produce from domestic fields, would have to part with any revenue they earn from prices crossing United States dollars 70 per barrel mark. The Centre's excise tax is much more than the state's tax.

Pradhan also asked the Odisha government to cut its 26 per cent Value Added Tax (VAT) on fuel to bring the rising petrol and diesel prices under control. I am hopeful that petroleum products will also come under GST soon. The Narendra Modi-led government is taking a lot of flak from various quarters because many feel that costlier petrol and diesel are due to elevated tax rates. In 2016-17, the government's revenue from the petroleum sector was Rs 5.24 lakh crore, accounting for 3.5 per cent of GDP. The petrol price rose again in July 2014, reaching Rs 81.43 a litre, before it started sliding in August.

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Windfall tax, they said, is levied in some of the developed countries globally. Populist projects like distribution of gas cylinder to village women through attractive programme named Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana has been already started.

Speaking to ANI, Pradhan said, "It is due to various circumstances in worldwide (oil) market and mainly the value of Indian Rupee has reduced in comparison to US Dollar, which has led to a surge in oil prices".

The larger benefit for greater number of people would be ensured only with reasonable level of oil prices and availability of essential goods and services at affordable costs for all concerned.

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