Modi demands scrapping of 5% custom duty on imported crude oil

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Patna, Jan 18 (PTI) The Centre should scrap five percent customs duty on imported crude oil a suggestion which hewould place tomorrow at the Finance Ministers'' conference inDelhi, Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi saidtoday.

"The Centre should consider scrapping the five percent custom duty on imported crude oil to reduce petroleumprices to provide relief to the common man bearing the bruntof inflation and price rise," Modi told reporters here.

The Centre should also consider imposition of a flatrate of tax on sale of petroleum products doing away with thevariable tax rate in place at present, Modi said.

Modi, who also holds the charge of the financeministry, said that a price stabilization fund should be setup by the Centre to compensate petroleum companies duringescalation in crude prices in the international market fromtime to time.

He also suggested that the Centre should considersetting up a mechanism to keep food and vegetable prices undercontrol.

Referring to Bihar''s expectation in the next unionbudget, Modi said that the cash-strapped state should beaccorded a special economic status in order to entitle it toreceive grants.

Stating that the NDA government has been demanding aspecial status for long, he said the Centre should continuewith the compensation of Rs 1000 crores in the 12th five-yearplan beginning 2012.

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