NEW DELHI: Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday said that the Centre is ready to discuss bringing petrol, diesel under GST regime in the Council’s next meeting.
Addressing the Lok Sabha on the Finance Bill of 2021, Sitharaman stressed that it is not only Centre that taxes motor fuel, states do it too. Hence, there needs to be a common consensus between both.
“Highest tax today on petrol & diesel is in Maharashtra. I’m not pointing out whether one state is more or less. The point is, states also tax fuel, not just Centre. When Centre taxes it’s part of devolvable amount and is not a cess,” she said.
Sitharaman also stated that she would be glad to have it on the agenda of the next GST council meet and discuss it if required.
Talks about bringing petrol, diesel under GST regime has been doing rounds since the past few weeks, with prices touching Rs 100-mark in some states. However, the Centre had maintained that there is no provision to bring petrol, diesel under GST as of now.
Crude oil, natural gas, petrol, diesel, and aviation turbine fuel (ATF) were kept out of GST purview given the revenue dependence of the central and state governments on this sector.
Further, the finance minister emphasised on the need to widen the tax base.
“We are not going to raise taxes to cover up the contingencies that have cropped up as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic,” she noted.
In addition, the finance minister announced a raise in tax-free investment limit in provident fund to Rs 5 lakh in cases where employers do not contribute.