India not going back on fuel price deregulation

  • Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on 8 Oct 18 said there was no question of going back on deregulation of fuel pricing despite the government asking state owned firms to subsidise petrol and diesel by INR1 per litre.
  • Pradhan said he had spoken to Saudi Oil Minister Khalid A Al-Falih and “reminded him of the Jun 18 commitment of OPEC to increase production by 1 million barrels per day” to help cool prices.
  • Pradhan said the decision to cut excise duty on petrol and diesel by INR1.50 per litre each and ask oil PSUs to absorb another INR1 per litre was aimed at “giving relief to consumers”.
  • “This is not going back on deregulation. Fuel prices continue to be decided on a daily basis based on factors like benchmark international rate and foreign exchange rate,” he said.
  • After the Centre cut excise duty by INR1.50 per litre and asked PSU oil firms to subsidise fuel by INR1, Maharashtra and Gujarat governments were among the first to announce a matching INR2.50 cut.
  • They were later joined by Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana Assam, Uttarakhand, Goa, Arunachal Pradesh and Bihar with similar moves. Jammu and Kashmir, which is under Governor’s rule, too reduced tax on the two fuel.
  • Maharashtra, however, reduced VAT only on petrol and not on diesel. Even before the excise duty cut, Rajasthan, West Bengal, Karnataka, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh had in Sep 18 reduced VAT to cushion consumers for a spate of price increases.
  • The reduction in excise duty, only the second in four years of BJP-led NDA rule, will dent central government revenues by INR105bn.
  • The finance ministry also added it does not expect a cut in dividend from oil marketing companies. Economic Affairs Secretary in a tweet said there is no plan for reduction in subsidy and disinvestment target will also be met.
  • As far as disinvestment is concerned, the government has set an ambitious target of INR800bn for FY19.
  • In the Budget for 2018-19, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM) will move forward to bring in more exchange traded fund (ETF), including launching a debt fund.

External Link: https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/economy/policy/no-going-back-on-fuel-price-deregulation-dharmendra-pradhan/articleshow/66119636.cms

External Link: https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/economy/finance/dividend-cut-from-oil-companies-unlikely-disinvestment-target-to-be-met-finance-ministry/articleshow/66135282.cms

8-Oct-2018


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