Central government’s tax collections on petrol and diesel have jumped over 300 per cent in the last six years as excise duty on the two fuels was hiked, the Lok Sabha was informed on Monday. The central government collected Rs 29,279 crore from excise duty on petrol and Rs 42,881 crore on diesel in 2014-15 — the first year of office of the Modi government.
The collections on petrol and diesel rose to Rs 2.94 lakh crore in the first 10 months of the current fiscal (2020-21), according to information furnished by Minister of State Anurag Singh Thakur in a written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha. Together with excise duty on natural gas, the central government in 2014-15 collected Rs 74,158 crore which has gone up to Rs 2.95 lakh crore in April 2020 to January 2021 period.
He said taxes collected on petrol, diesel and natural gas as a percentage of total revenue have gone up from 5.4 per cent in 2014-15 to 12.2 per cent this fiscal. Excise duty on petrol has been raised from Rs 9.48 per litre in 2014 to Rs 32.90 a litre now while the same on diesel has gone up from Rs 3.56 a litre to Rs 31.80.
Taxes make up for 60 per cent of the present retail price of petrol of Rs 91.17 a litre in Delhi. Excise duty makes up for 36 per cent of the retail price. Over 53 per cent of the retail selling price of Rs 81.47 a litre of diesel in Delhi is made up of taxes. As much as 39 per cent of the retail price comprises of central excise.
“The total central excise duty (including basic excise duty, cesses and surcharge) was increased by Rs 3 per litre on petrol and diesel with effect from March 14, 2020. It was further revised upwards by Rs 10 per litre on petrol and Rs 13 per litre on diesel with effect from May 6, 2020,” Thakur said. These increases took away the gain that would have accrued to consumers from a sharp drop in international oil prices.
The hike in excise duty is similar to the increase in taxes the government did between November 2014 and January 2016. Over nine instalments, duty on petrol rate was hiked by Rs 11.77 per litre and that on diesel by 13.47 a litre in those 15 months.
The government had cut excise duty by Rs 2 in October 2017, and by Rs 1.50 a year later. But it raised excise duty by Rs 2 per litre in July 2019. “The excise duty rates have been calibrated to generate resources for infrastructure and other developmental items of expenditure keeping in view the present fiscal position,” he added.