Industries Minister KT Rama Rao pointed out that despite LPG being brought under GST, prices had skyrocketed from Rs.400 to Rs.1200 in the last eight years.

The BJP has been strongly advocating the need to bring petrol, diesel and other petroleum products under the single national GST regime stating that the move would aid in reducing taxes on these products. The BJP leaders also stressed that it would increase revenue for both union and State governments.

However, the Industries Minister argued that despite LPG being brought under GST, prices continued to hit through the roof. Taking a dig on the BJP government, he also wondered that how could a government, which failed to control LPG prices, expect to cut down fuel prices.

Rama Rao wondered in a tweet about those who believed that petroleum product prices could come down if they were included in GST regime. “LPG is already under GST. But the price increased from Rs.400 to Rs.1200 in 8 years. How can a Non performing Alliance (NPA) that cannot reel in LPG Cylinder prices be entrusted with Petroleum products?” (sic), he questioned.

The Industries Minister asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to explain the ‘peculiarity’ over the rising petrol prices even as the crude oil price was declining in the international market. He said while in May 2014, the

crude oil price was $107 per barrel, petrol price stood at Rs 71 per litre. 

However, by March 2023, the crude oil price was at $65 per barrel, while the petrol price shot to Rs 110 per litre. “If fuel prices had to be hiked when price of crude oil went up, should they also not be brought down when prices drop?” he asked while wondering who was benefitting from the hike.

KT Rama rao’s tweet on the issue evoked some responses from BJP suppoters, who demanded that the Telangana government should reduce VAT on fuel prices.

Countering these arguments, a social media influencer P Vishnuvardhan Reddy argued that the Modi government imposed highest cesses on petrol and diesel. The Centre had enhanced the fuel tax by 294% on petrol and 612% on diesel. From 2014 to 2022, the union Govenrment had collected Rs.26,51,919 crore, he said.

He also pointed out that the current crude oil price was much less than what it was in 2014. Oil bonds paid by NDA government constituted just three per cent of taxes collected. The Telangana government had not increased the VAT. Prior to 2014, the centre and states shared taxes equally, but now it was 68:32 ratio. If the Centre scrapped the Cess, Petrol prices would come down to Rs 70 per litre, he argued in a tweet.

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