New Delhi: Petrol
costs more in India when compared to neighbouring countries like
Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and is even dearer than what is
charged in the US, the petroleum ministry said in a written reply
in the Rajya Sabha Tuesday.
According to the reply by Minister of State for Petroleum R.P.N.
Singh, one litre of petrol costs Rs.48.64 in Pakistan, Rs.52.42 in
Bangladesh and Rs.61.38 in Sri Lanka. In India, the fuel costs
Rs.66.42, despite oil marketing companies reducing prices Nov 16.
Even in the US, petrol costs much less -- at Rs.44.88 a litre.
However, the fuel costs much more in the UK, with a litre of
petrol going for Rs.104.60.
The government has always been criticised for the skewed tax
structure on petrol and diesel. The minister, however, said the
central government's revenue does not increase with increase in
the price of these products as the excise duties were specific.
The excise duties on petrol are currently at Rs.14.78 per litre,
and on diesel Rs.2.06 per litre, said Singh.
After the last downward revision of Rs.2.22, petrol now retails at
Rs.66.42 in Delhi. However, diesel costs much less at Rs.40.91 in
the national capital.
But states levy a host of other taxes such as sales tax, value
added tax (VAT) and entry tax.
"Whenever there is an increase in retail selling prices of these
petroleum products, the state governments' sales tax/VAT
collection goes up correspondingly," Singh said.
Illustrating the states' increase in revenue due to hike in fuel
prices, the minister said for every Re.1 increase in petrol price
per litre, the Delhi government raked in 20 paise as the VAT rate
in Delhi was 20 percent.
Similarly, for every Re.1 increase in price of a litre of diesel,
the Delhi government raked in 12.5 paise in taxes as the VAT rate
for the fuel was 12.5 percent.