Govt collects Rs 2,94,482 crore in fuel excise duty during April-January of current fiscal
The Narendra Modi government seems to have raked in profits during the pandemic as it has collected Rs 2,94,482 crore in excise duty during April-January of the current fiscal, an increase of 68.7 per cent over the same period last year amidst plummeting global crude prices.
During the six years of the BJP-led government, data showed that the central government’s tax collections from petrol and diesel have jumped over 300 per as excise duty on the two fuel was hiked.
Excise duty collection during April-January of 2020-21 was Rs 2,94,482 crore, up from Rs 1,74,528 crore mopped up a year ago.
As the pandemic spread and global crude oil prices dropped, the Modi government hiked the duties to shore up its revenues.
In April last year, the US crude plunged deep into negative territory and Brent dropped below $20 per barrel, hit by the pandemic and a price war between oil giants Saudi Arabia and Russia.
The excise duty rates on petrol and diesel as on March 1, 2020, was Rs 19.98 per litre and Rs 15.83 per litre, respectively. As on March 1, 2021, these rates are Rs 32.90 a litre and Rs 31.80 a litre, respectively.
The increase represents a 64.66 per cent increase in the duty on petrol and a 100.88 per cent rise in the case of diesel and shows the extent to which the Centre gouged money from motorists and commercial vehicle fleets in the country.
Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman had also acknowledged that consumers have a case for petrol and diesel prices to be brought down, but she faced dharamsankat or a piquant situation.
The government has room to cut excise duty on petrol and diesel by up to Rs 8.5 per litre without impacting its target for revenue from the tax on the two fuels, analysts said.