Jayalalithaa slams decision to hike excise duty on petrol, diesel

Chennai, Jan 31: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on Sunday, Jan 31 asked the Centre to shun its 'narrow perspective' of hiking excise duty on petrol and diesel to meet its revenue deficit, saying it should withdraw the latest revision keeping in mind the long-term interest of overall economic growth.

Reflecting on yesterday's excise duty hike of Re 1 and Rs 1.50 on petrol and diesel respectively, she said this was "condemnable" even as rates of global crude were declining.


With the latest hike, the third one this month, the government had increased excise duty on petrol and diesel by Rs 11.77 and Rs 13.57, respectively, since November 2014, she said, adding that it was 'not fair' on the Centre's part to effect such revision to meet its budgetary deficit.

Jayalalithaa said reduction of excise duty hiked over the past 13 months will pave the way for fuel being available at cheaper rates for the common people, which, she maintained, will result in economic development.

"Therefore, I request that the excise duty hike must be withdrawn keeping in mind the long-term interest of overall economic growth and the Centre should shun the narrow perspective of decreasing revenue deficit by hiking excise duty," she said in a statement here.

Such hikes 'prevented' the benefit of drop in global crude prices reaching the common man, she said and reiterated her demand for changing the "faulty" pricing formula adopted by the previous Congress-led UPA government for petroleum products.

While many states increase sales tax on petrol and diesel following such excise duty revision, her government had, however, not resorted to such a step and, therefore, sales tax on these fuels in Tamil Nadu was "the lowest among southern states", she said.

Ahead of the Budget, the government on Saturday hiked excise duty on petrol by Re one per litre and Rs 1.50 on diesel to mop up over Rs 3,200 crore in additional revenue, netting in all Rs 17,000 crore in three months.


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