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Fadnavis should ask Modi govt to bring fuel prices under GST: Chidambaram

By Deepika

Congress leader and former finance minister P Chidambaram on Friday cornered Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnav over petrol, diesel price hike, saying that he should ask the BJP government at the centre to bring petrol and diesel under GST ambit.

Chidambaram took to twitter and wrote "Bringing petrol and diesel under GST will lower prices, said Maharashtra CM, Devendra Fadnavis. He should ask his party's government at the Centre to do that."

Congress leader and former finance minister P Chidambaram

On Thursday, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said that fuel prices will come down once the Centre builds a consensus to bring petrol and diesel under the Goods and Services Tax (GST). Petrol and diesel prices are defined by international crude oil rates, Fadnavis noted.

"A task force is already working on reducing the fuel prices. If it (petrol and diesel) can be brought under GST, rates will come down. Maharashtra has already given its consent for it," the chief minister told reporters here.

The GST Council will also have to look into aspects like revenue losses before taking a decision, he said.

Talks are going on with finance ministers of all states, Fadnavis said, adding that "other states have not given their consent yet."

"Once petrol and diesel are brought under the ambit of GST, its threshold will change, because, right now, taxes upon taxes are levied which increases rates. GST will ensure a single tax," he said.

The Centre had in June last year junked the 15-year old practice of revising rates every fortnight and introduced daily revisions.

The central government levies Rs 19.48 excise duty on a litre of petrol and Rs 15.33 on diesel. State sales tax or VAT varies from state to state. Unlike excise duty, VAT is ad valorem and results in higher revenues for the state when rates move up.

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