Maharashtra follows Gujarat suit, slashes Value-Added Tax on fuel products

Maharashtra follows Gujarat suit, slashes Value-Added Tax on fuel products

Just last week, the prices of petrol and diesel in the city were at a three-year high as they were hovering around the Rs 81 and Rs 61 mark respectively.

Hours after the Gujarat government announced the tax cut, Devendra Fadnavis government also came out with tax reduction on fuel.

The new rates after reduction in the Value-Added Tax will be Rs 68.32 per litre from Rs 69.01 per in case of petrol and Rs 56.32 from Rs 57.09 per litre for diesel.

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Maharashtra charges 25 per cent Value-Added Tax on petrol in Mumbai, Navi Mumbai and Thane, while the rest of the state pays 26 per cent Value-Added Tax on it. The government had in November 2015 and January 2016 raised excise duty on petrol and diesel five times to take away gains arising from plummeting global oil prices. In an interaction with the media recently, Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh has also hinted towards making such move soon. Oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan too has been pitching for inclusion of petrol, diesel, jet fuel, natural gas and crude oil in the GST regime as it would ease the tax burden of oil and gas companies which at present are subjected to two streams of taxation, GST and VAT. "Because of a cut in excise duty and drop in worldwide prices, fuel prices have turned advantageous for consumers", he said. Gujarat levied 28.96% VAT on petrol and diesel prior to the tax cut. However, there lacks consensus among state governments in this regard.

"The decision has been taken in the interest of the people and it should not be linked with the polls", Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani told mediapersons while announcing the decision.

"We have proactively cut excise duty". He further said that states governments such as Kerala and Delhi were at the forefront of demanding a cut in duties. "The amount remaining with the Centre is used to finance centrally sponsored schemes in states", he said.

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