With the steep hike in excise duty in the past couple of months, an average consumer of petrol now pays over 275% in taxes to centre and states on a litre of the fuel. The base price of petrol is just about Rs 18. The taxes are close to Rs 50 and the pump price is over Rs 72.
India imports 85% of all its crude oil demand. After a steep hike in excise duty in the past two months despite a hold on daily price revisions by the oil public sector undertakings (PSUs), Indian consumers now pay 275% collectively in excise duty to state and centre.
The central government hiked excise on petrol and diesel by Rs 10 and Rs 13 respectively last month. The excise duty on petrol is taxed around Rs 33-a-litre while the same on diesel it is Rs 32.
The Value-Added Tax (VAT) on both petrol and diesel is Rs 16.44 and Rs 16.26 respectively. Both the taxes together are around Rs 49 while it is sold at petrol pumps at 73-per-litre.
These two taxes cumulatively account for 69% of tax which is higher than anywhere else in the world. The same is taxed at 19% in the US, 47% in Japan, UK 62% and 63% in France. The government does not pass on the benefit of lower crude oil prices to the customer.
It is to be noted that Indian consumers continued to pay Rs 70-a-litre even when crude oil prices hit a paltry US $ 20-a-barrel on April 12.
Former finance minister and Congress leader recently took a jab at the Centre over rising prices stating, “Fuel selling prices raised twice in two days, following tax hikes two weeks ago. This time to benefit oil companies. Government is poor, it needs more taxes. Oil companies are poor, they need better prices. Only the poor and middle class are not poor, so they will pay”.