Fuel prices across India rose for the twelfth consecutive day burning a hole in the common commuter’s pocket even as the global oil market remains stable. As the heat of rising fuel prices is increasing, opposition is also attacking the current government. Many political leaders, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, have spoken on the issue.
On Saturday (February 20), Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman gave a statement on rising fuel prices. While expressing her concern on the matter, she said that this is a serious and important issue and both the central and state governments should talk to provide fuel at the appropriate level to consumers.
“This is a vexatious issue in which no answer other than price cut will be able to please the public. So whatever I say, to bring the reality to the fore, people will say that I am avoiding answering. I have already said that this is a serious issue,” said Nirmala Sitharaman.
“If all this is the reality, then it is the oil marketing companies who have to decide whether they have to cut the prices down or not because (technically), the oil prices have been freed, and the government has no control over it. It is the marketing companies that import the crude; refine it, distribute it and put the cost of logistics everything else,” she added.
The finance Minister further stated this situation as an ‘inversion problem’. She disclosed that our raw materials are taxed higher than the finished goods.
“I was astonished to see in some items, we are giving more refunds than they get taxed. How is that? How can I justify that?” she said.
On this account, she concluded that there is a need for the GST Council to cool headedly think, if they are doing the GST, itself a harm by unthinking rate changes.
Today in the national capital, petrol saw an increase of 39 paise and is being sold at Rs 90.58 per litre while diesel prices were hiked by 37 paise and costs Rs 80.97 per litre. In Mumbai, the price of petrol touched the Rs 97 per litre mark after a hike of 38 paise and diesel was priced at Rs 87.06 per litre following an increase of 39 paise.