Pressure building on CM to reduce sales tax on petrol, diesel

A day after the Centre cut the excise duty on petroleum products, it emerges that there has been no discussion in the State government to reduce sales tax on petroleum products. But the pressure is building on Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai, who also holds the finance portfolio, to show similar gesture and reduce sales tax on fuel to further ease the burden on people.

“The reduction in excise duty has happened only yesterday (Saturday) night. I will consider it,” Mr. Bommai told presspersons before heading to Davos to attend the World Economic Summit. He was responding to a question from reporters if the State government will also follow suit.

In Karnataka, the rate of Karnataka Sales Tax on petrol is 25.92% while diesel is 14.34%, and comes to about ₹22.14 for petrol and ₹11.61 for diesel. After the Centre’s decision, the cost of petrol and diesel in Bengaluru is ₹111.11 and ₹94.81, respectively.

Finance Department sources said that there has been no discussion on the reduction of KST on fuel in the State yet, and it is likely that the decision - if taken - will be done after the return of Mr. Bommai from Davos. The Chief Minister is returning on May 26. Incidentally, Kerala and Maharashtra have already reduced the State’s tax on petrol and diesel.

Meanwhile, former Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy on Sunday felt that the State government vacillating on the issue is not right. “The Centre has succumbed to the pressure of people. Petroleum product costs are coming down in the country. The neighbouring Kerala has already reduced the duty. CM’s statement on the price reduction to be considered is not in good stead. The BJP government in the State remaining undecided on the issue is not right,” he said.

Leader of the Opposition Siddaramaiah, while welcoming the government’s decision to reduce excise duty, said that he had expected the government to reduce the excise duty to the pre-2014 level. “The Centre has collected ₹23 lakh crore from excise duty on petrol and diesel in the last 8 years. Though the reduction has brought relief to those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, the move has not completely helped.

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Printable version | Jun 30, 2022 1:12:03 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/pressure-building-on-cm-to-reduce-sales-tax-on-petrol-diesel/article65447496.ece