Crude oil prices are not the reason for frequent upward revision of petroleum products but the tax component, says Selvaraj Velusamy, president of the Coimbatore District Petroleum Dealers Association.

In a statement here, he said that the tax component was more than half of the retail selling price of petroleum products.

The Union and State Governments were using price revision to earn additional revenue by way of VAT and other taxes, he said.

Oil exporting nations had denied the reasons cited by oil companies in India for the upward revision of prices. In India, more than 50 per cent of the price paid for any fuel goes as tax.

The entry tax for crude, VAT collected by the State Governments, port handling charges, and the excise duty collected by Union Government and education cess were the reasons for the raise in prices.

The decision of the Government to give a free hand to oil marketing companies to raise price was wrong.

The Government has so far raised prices of petroleum products more than 23 times and downward revision took place only four times.

Prices of petrol and diesel had gone up by 90 per cent. All the South Asian countries could sell petroleum products at prices 45 per cent to 50 per cent lower than the rates in India.

Mr. Selvaraj Velusamy said that the following were the profit details of oil companies in the third quarter of this fiscal: ONGC Rs. 2,051.85 crore, GAIL Rs.1,284.86 crore, IOC Rs.3,331.96 crore, BPCL 1,311.27 crore,  and HPCL Rs. 157 crore. Mr. Selvaraj Velusamy said distributors who make huge investments get only less than 2 per cent as commission. LPG gas distributors with get 7 per cent to 8 per cent commission.

He said the recommendations of Apoorva Chandra Committee should be implemented. It had recommended bringing down the tax component on fuel prices.

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