Tamil Nadu

Tamil Nadu govt. is ready to rethink fuel under GST: Minister

Palanivel Thiaga Rajan  

The Tamil Nadu government is ready to reconsider its decision on the issue of bringing fuel prices under the Goods and Services Tax regime, provided the Centre gives up the cess surcharge on petrol and diesel, Finance Minister Palanivel Thiaga Rajan said on Monday.

He said that though the State would lose revenue after allowing the fuel prices to be brought under the purview of the GST, the measure would help to bring down inflation, thus helping both the country and people. He clarified that the DMK had changed its earlier stand “based on the changing taxation situation”.

Despite the phenomenal decrease in the international prices of crude oil, the Union government put up the cess surcharge on petrol and diesel and did not share with the States the revenue thereof. While helping the big companies with reduced corporate taxes, it burdened people with more indirect taxes to make up the shortfall in revenue. A higher tax on fuel led to a higher inflation of essential commodities, and people were suffering because of the double burden, Mr. Thiaga Rajan said.

Even at the recent GST Council meeting, the Union government did not express its stand on the issue. “It has been tabled at the meeting as per the direction of the Kerala High Court in a particular case,” he said.

Action sought

Tamil Nadu BJP president K. Annamalai said that once petrol and diesel were brought under the GST, there would be no need for the Centre to levy cess on fuel. He demanded action against Mr. Thiaga Rajan for his posts on social media targetting those who criticised him.

At a press conference, Mr. Annamalai asked why as the Finance Minister of Tamil Nadu, Mr. Thiaga Rajan did not attend the GST Council meeting held in Lucknow and why the government did not send anyone to represent the State at such an important meeting. “When this is asked, they are giving explanations that are very amusing,” he said.

Mr. Annamalai said that once petrol and diesel were brought under the GST, which should be under the highest tax slab of 28%, the States and the Centre would endure some losses, but there would be an immediate reduction in the price of petrol by around ₹30-35 per litre, according to economists. “When this reduction happens, the real economy will pick up,” he said.

Slamming Mr. Thiaga Rajan for his absence at the meeting, he demanded that the government explain why no one was sent for the meeting. “When they [the DMK] were in the Opposition, they wanted fuel to be under the GST. Now they want the exact opposite. People should understand this hypocrisy,” he said.

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Printable version | Oct 27, 2021 10:29:33 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/tamil-nadu-govt-is-ready-to-rethink-fuel-under-gst-minister/article36580338.ece

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