Amid the Opposition alleging the central government of slashing excise duty that is shared by states and accusing it of duping people with a “jugglery of figures”, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Sunday said the excise duty on petrol and diesel that has been deducted is not shareable with states. She also compared developmental expenditure incurred by the PM Narendra Modi government during 2014-22 with that during UPA’s 2004-14.
In a series of tweets, Sitharaman said, “Basic Excise Duty (BED), Special Additional Excise duty (SAED), Road & Infrastructure Cess (RIC) and Agriculture & Infrastructure Development Cess (AIDC) together constitute Excise Duty on petrol and diesel. Basic ED is sharable with states. SAED,RIC & AIDC are non-sharable.”
The finance minister added that the excise duty reduction of Rs 8 per litre on petrol and Rs 6 per litre on diesel (effective from today) has entirely been made in Road & Infrastructure Cess (RIC). “Even in November ’21, the reduction of Rs 5 per litre in petrol and Rs 10 per litre in diesel was entirely made in RIC,” She said in another tweet.
Sitharaman said basic ED which is sharable with states has not been touched. Therefore, the entire burden of these two duty cuts (made in Nov, 21 and yesterday) is borne by the Centre.
The central government on Saturday cut excise duty on petrol by a record Rs 8 per litre and that on diesel by Rs 6 per litre. The cut was estimated to translate into a reduction of Rs 9.5 per litre in petrol prices and Rs 7 per litre in diesel, after taking into account its impact on other levies. Prices of petrol and diesel were increased by the Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) by Rs 10 per litre in 14 hikes that took place between March 22 and April 6.
“The duty reduction made yesterday has an implication of Rs 1,00,000 crore a year for Centre. The duty reduction made in November’21 has an implication of Rs 1,20,000 cr a year for Centre. Total revenue implication to Centre, on these two duty cuts is thus Rs 2,20,000 cr a year,” the finance minister said in the series of tweets.
Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala in a tweet on Saturday had said, “Dear FM, Nation doesn’t need jugglery of figures to dupe the people, nation doesn’t need “Jumlas”, Nation needs roll back of Excise on #Petrol & @Diesel to May 2014 levels of Rs 9.48/Litre on Petrol & Rs 3.56/Litre on Diesel. Stop deceiving, Show the courage to give relief.”
Stating that the RBI data shows total developmental expenditure incurred by the Narendra Modi government during 2014-22 was Rs 90.9 lakh crore, Sitharaman on Sunday said, “In contrast, only Rs 49.2 lakh crore was spent on developmental expenditure during 2004-14.”
“The expenditure incurred by our Govt under @PMOIndia @narendramodi includes Rs 24.85 lakh crore spent so far on food, fuel and fertiliser subsidies and Rs 26.3 lakh crore on capital creation. Over the 10 years of UPA, only Rs 13.9 lakh crore was spent on subsidies,” she said in a tweet.
After the excise duty cut by the Centre, the price of petrol in Delhi has been reduced to Rs 96.72 per litre, while the per-litre diesel price now stands at Rs 89.62. In Mumbai, petrol was retailing at Rs 111.35 per litre after the latest excise duty cut, while diesel was being sold at Rs 97.28 a litre.
High fuel prices have been raising rates of various commodities in the country, thus stoking the overall inflation. The retail inflation in April 2022 soared to an eight-year high of 7.79 per cent, compared with 4.23 per cent in April 2021 and 6.97 per cent in March 2022. Inflation in the food basket rose to 8.38 per cent in April, from 7.68 per cent in the preceding month and 1.96 per cent in the year-ago month.