Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has blamed ‘trickery’ by UPA Govt for the fuel price pain in the country today. According to her, the Centre is unable to reduce excise duty on petrol & diesel even if it wants to, due to the ‘trickery’ in the name of petrol price reduction by the UPA regime & until centre and states sit together on this issue there can’t be a solution.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman says, ‘UPA government had reduced fuel prices by issuing Oil Bonds of Rs 1.44 lakh crores. I can’t go by the trickery played by them. Due to Oil Bonds, the burden has come to our government, that’s why we are unable to reduce prices of petrol and diesel’.
As per the data accessed by Times Now, the NDA govt has paid Rs 10,255.96 cr as interest on these oil bonds in 2014-15 and since 2015-16 it has paid Rs 9,989.96 cr annually till 2020-21. In total, the Centre has already paid Rs 70,195.72 cr only as an interest of these bonds since 2014-15 and another Rs 37,340.44 cr will have to be paid till 2025-26.
According to the Finance Minister, it is due to this unfair burden on this Govt it has not been able to reduce excise duty on petrol and diesel despite public outrage.
Since last 30 days, there has been no change in petrol and diesel prices across the country, however, it still remains at an all-time high. In most capital cities petrol is being sold at over Rs 100 per litre eating into the savings of the middle class.
This blame game on reduction of tax on fuel has been going on for quite some time but neither states nor the Centre it seems is willing to let go of this easy source of revenue. There have been suggestions of bringing petrol ans diesel under GST by both states and Centre but none so far has given any proposal to the GST council.