69% people want reduction in excise duty on petrol and diesel: Survey
New Delhi: Even as the government struggles to keep the price of petrol and petroleum products under control, a large number of Indians want the government to slash the prices.
As per a survey conducted by LocalCircles, a survey by social media platform, 69% citizens want the government to reduce petrol and diesel prices and a majority were in favour of reducing it at least by Rs 6 per litre.
The survey of 9,326 individuals across the country also said that government slash the duties levied on the petroleum products. Prices of petrol and diesel are generally pegged to the global oil prices.
Traditionally India has tried to keep these prices under control by absorbing high prices. Governments over the years had to weigh in on whether to incur a fiscal deficit or to let the inflation rise. If the government intervenes and absorbs the high prices, it tends to incur a deficit. On the other hand many economists argue that not doing so could mean that inflation in the country could jump.
The current government seems to have given preference to fiscal discipline as the inflation remains under control as per the official data.
The price of petrol in Delhi has crossed INR 84 per litre and the price of Diesel has crossed the Rs 74 per litre threshold. After holding steady for 29 days, the petrol and diesel prices have again started rising. Of the Rs 84 per litre that commoners pay at the pump, the actual value of the petrol is only INR 26 while the rest are taxes, duty and dealer’s commission, as per the survey.
“The Central Government charges Rs 32.98 (125% of the base price) as excise and the Delhi government levies INR 19 (72% of the base price) per litre on petrol Value-added Tax (VAT). Similar levies in commission and taxes are applied for diesel. When the prices of petrol and diesel rise, it has an adverse impact on how individuals commute, how goods are shipped, and how people draw up their budgets,” the survey said.
“The aggregate percentage of responses from 69% citizens wants the government to reduce excise duty on petrol and diesel. Of which, the majority of citizens want the prices to be reduced by 20% or by Rs 6 or more for both petrol and diesel. This if done, will reduce the price of petrol to Rs 78 per litre and diesel to Rs 68 per litre in Delhi and similarly across India where the impact to the citizens is even higher. Delhi has one of the lowest prices of Diesel and Petrol in the country,” said Sachin Taparia, chairman of LocalCircles.
The Economic Times 08-01-2021