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Union Finance Minister asks people to argue with State Govts on high tax on oil

Union Finance Minister asks people to argue with State Govts on high tax on oil

New Delhi: Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Monday that people should ask their own state governments about high fuel prices as the Union government has slashed excise duty on petrol and diesel, NDTV reported.

While addressing a press briefing, she added that petrol and diesel couldn't be included in Goods and Service Tax (GST) till the GST Council sets the rate of their inclusion.

She was addressing the media after her interaction with chief ministers and finance ministers of all the states, which tabled the investment climate in the country in the wake of recovery after the post-pandemic.

The Union government had slashed the excise duty on petrol and diesel by Rs 5 and Rs 10 on the eve of Diwali after widespread criticism spiralled from all over the country. The ruling BJP's loss in recent elections was also attributed to fuel prices, among other factors. Following the union government's cut, several states also reduced VAT on the commodities, particularly those ruled by BJP.

But some of the states demanded further cut by the Union government. Kerala Finance Minister had called the Union government's move "damage control". The Opposition in the parliament alleged that the union government only marginally reduced the excise duty after having hiked them significantly in the past.

The Opposition also added that since state governments have not increased VAT, there is no question of reducing it and prices will go down if the Union government reverse their hikes.

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