Government eludes question on oil prices in RS

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New Delhi, Aug 1 (IANS) The government on Wednesday eluded a question in the Rajya Sabha that sought the price difference between the crude and retail oil during the UPA and current NDA regime, and whether the government was mulling any tax cuts to relieve the consumers.

Asking a supplementary during the Question Hour, Samajwadi Party MP Revati Raman Singh demanded to know what was the price of crude oil per barrel during the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) regime (from 2004-2014) and what it is now.

“What is the price of crude oil per barrel now and what are the retail prices? Will you reduce central taxes to give relief to the common man,” the MP asked.

However, Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan replied that it was a “separate question” and did not give any further details.

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Earlier, replying to a question whether the government was considering bringing petroleum products under the Goods and Services Tax (GST), Pradhan said that his Ministry is “in-principle of the opinion” that all the petroleum products, including the ATF, should be under GST but it would only be decided by the GST Council when and under what slab it should be done.

“The Article 279A (5) of the Constitution provides that Goods and Services Tax Council shall recommend the date on which GST shall be levied on petroleum items including natural gas and Aviation Turbine Fuel (ATF),” Pradhan said.

“Thus, while petroleum products are constitutionally included under GST, the date and rate of GST which shall be levied on such goods, shall be as per the decision of the GST Council, which has representations of Ministers-in-charge of finance or taxation or any other Minister nominated by each of the states and Union Territories with legislature,” he added.

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