Following record-high oil prices, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Monday that there are no proposals to include crude oil, diesel, petrol, jet fuel (ATF), and natural gas in the GST at this time. Five resources – crude oil, natural gas, petrol, diesel, and aviation turbine fuel (ATF) – were left out of the GST’s scope when it was implemented on July 1, 2017, combining over a dozen central and state tariffs. This was due to the central and state government’s reliance on this sector for income. As a result, the federal government managed to levy excise duties on them while the states imposed VAT. These taxes, especially the excise duty, have been increased on a regular basis. In a formal response to a query in the Lok Sabha, Sitharaman said, “At this time, there is no plan to put crude petroleum, petrol, diesel, ATF, and natural gas under GST.” According to the regulation, the GST Council is responsible for recommending the effective date of the goods and services tax on petroleum crude, high-speed fuel, motor spirit, natural gas, and ATF. “The GST Committee, which includes members from the states, has yet to make a decision for the incorporation of these products under GST,” she said. She added that the Council can revisit the topic of including these five petroleum products at any time it deems necessary, taking into account all applicable considerations, which include revenue repercussions. By incorporating oil goods in GST, businesses will not only be able to exclude the tax they pay on imports, but they will also gain uniformity in the country’s fuel taxes. In recent times Sitharaman has discussed the incorporation of fuel under GST, as well as the center and states coming together to slash taxes and protect customers from the rise in retail prices. In response to a different query, her junior in the finance ministry, Anurag Singh Thakur, stated that the excise tax on petrol was Rs 19.98 / liter one year ago and is now Rs 32.9. Analogously, the excise duty on diesel has also been increased from Rs 15.83 to Rs 31.8. “The excise duty prices were optimized to produce money for roads and other transformative pieces of spending while retaining the existing fiscal situation in mind,” Thakur, Minister of State for Finance, said in describing why the levy was increased.
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