Hyderabad: Since 1 April 2021, the petrol price has been increased 39 times while diesel price has been increased 36 times, the Central government said on Monday.

Rameswar Teli, the minister of state for petroleum and natural gas, while replying to a question in the Lok Sabha, said that during the financial year 2018-19, petrol price was increased 148 times while in 2019-20 it was increased 89 times and in 2020-21 it was increased 76 times.

He added that the Central government, through Central Excise duty, charges Rs. 32.90 per litre for unbranded petrol and Rs. 34.10 per litre for branded petrol. Similarly, for diesel, the government charges Central Excise duty of Rs. 31.80 per litre for unbranded diesel and Rs. 34.20 per litre for branded diesel.

He further added that the Telangana government charges Rs. 35.20 per cent as Value Added Tax (VAT) on petrol and 27 per cent VAT on diesel. He said the current price of crude oil is Rs. 5,388.66 per barrel (158.987 litre).

"The public sector oil marketing companies (OMCs) have been taking the appropriate decision on pricing of petrol and diesel on the basis of international product prices and other market conditions. The OMCs have increased and decreased the prices of petrol and diesel according to changes in international prices and rupee-dollar exchange rate. Effective 16 June 2017, the daily pricing of petrol and diesel has been implemented in the entire country. The prices of petrol in the states across the country varies due to freight rates and VAT/local levies," said Mr. Teli.

He accepted that the impact of increase in prices of petrol and diesel can be seen in their impact on inflationary trend measured by Wholesale Price Index (WPI). The weightage of petrol and diesel in the WPI index is 1.60 per cent and 3.10 per cent, respectively, and in the CPI index is 2.19 per cent and 0.15 per cent, respectively.

He further added that the GST Council has not recommended the inclusion of oil and gas under GST. "Article 279 A (5) of the Constitution prescribes that the Goods and Service Tax Council shall recommend the date on which the goods and services tax be levied on petroleum crude, high-speed diesel, motor spirit (commonly known as petrol), natural gas and aviation turbine fuel (ATF). Also, as per Section 9(2) of the CGST Act, inclusion of these products in GST will require the recommendation of the GST Council. So far, the GST Council has not recommended the inclusion of oil and gas under GST. At present, there is no proposal to bring these five goods under GST," said Mr. Teli.

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