Narendra Modi government seems to be inclined to bring petroleum products under GST purview with an aim to minimize and check rising fuel prices.
This became apparent when Union Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan today aired 'optimism' that petroleum products will be brought under the GST purview."This will help in checking volatility in fuel prices",he said in New Delhi.
"In the long run, petroleum products are bound to be included within the ambit of the GST regime ... It is only a matter of time. It will immensely help in containing prices of petrol and diesel," Pradhan told media persons there.
Though he did not specify any timeline on bringing petroleum products under the Goods and Services Tax (GST),he indicated that it may take some time as the states,he said,'appear to be unwilling to include petro items within the GST ambit as they are deriving major financial benefits in the existing arrangement."
In any case,he knows that the inclusion of petrol and diesel in the GST regime is bound to bring uniformity in tax collection."GST council is working in this direction",he said.
Notably, taxes are one of the main factors behind rising fuel prices in the country.Moreover,the move, bringing petroleum products under the GST regime,can be a long-term measure to tackle the problem."The Centre is working out a holistic strategy to address it",he said.
Experts say that among several factors behind the fuel price rise are high international crude price, geopolitics of oil, fluctuation in the dollar and Indian currency exchange rate and local taxes.
Now,when General Lok Sabha elections are slated to be held in 2019,the Modi government appears to be doing every feasible work not to allow petrol and diesel prices go out of the reach of the common man.And it is learnt to be working to provide a long-term solution to price volatility without going back on reforms.