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Fuel rates cut to gas subsidy: Key announcements made by Nirmala Sitharaman

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New Delhi, May 21: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday made key announcement, including a sharp cut in central excise duty on fuel prices. The announcements come as retail inflation surged to an eight-year high in April, driven by rising fuel and food prices.

Nirmala Sitharaman

Making the announcement, Sitharaman said "Our government, since when Prime Minister Narendra Modi took office, is devoted to the welfare of the poor.We've taken a number of steps to help the poor and middle class. As a result, the average inflation during our tenure has remained lower than during previous governments."

"Today, the world is passing through difficult times. Even as the world is recovering from Covid-19 pandemic, the Ukraine conflict has brought in supply chain problems and shortages of various goods. This is resulting in inflation & economic distress in a lot of countries," she said.

"Even during the pandemic, our government set a paradigm of welfare, especially with PM Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana. This is now acknowledged and appreciated the world over," she added.

"Despite the challenging international situation,we've ensured that there are no shortages, scarcity of essential goods. Even a few developed countries couldn't escape some shortages, disruptions. We are committed to ensure that prices of essential items are kept under control," Sitharaman said.

"Despite rising fertilizer prices globally, we have protected our farmers from such price hikes. In addition to the fertilizer subsidy of Rs 1.05 lakh crore in the budget, an additional amount of Rs 1.10 lakh crore is being provided to further cushion our farmers," she added.

"PMO India has specifically asked all arms of the government to work with sensitivity and give relief to the common man. Keeping in line with Narendra Modi's commitment to help the poor & common man, TODAY, we are announcing more steps to help our people," She further said.

We are reducing the Central excise duty on Petrol by Rs 8 per litre and on Diesel by Rs 6 per litre. This will reduce the price of petrol by Rs 9.5 per litre and of Diesel by Rs 7 per litre.

It will have revenue implication of around Rs 1 lakh crore/year for the government.

"I wish to exhort all state governments, especially the states where reduction wasn't done during the last round (November 2021), to also implement a similar cut and give relief to the common man," Sitharaman said.

"Also, this year, we will give a subsidy of Rs 200 per gas cylinder (upto 12 cylinders) to over 9 crore beneficiaries of Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana. This will help our mothers and sisters. This will have a revenue implication of around Rs 6100 crore a year," she further said.

"We are also reducing the customs duty on raw materials & intermediaries for plastic products where our import dependence is high. This will result in reduction of cost of final products.

Similarly we are calibrating customs duty on raw materials & intermediaries for iron & steel to reduce their prices.

Import duty on some raw materials of steel will be reduced," she said.

Export duty on some steel products will be levied.

Measures are being taken up to improve the availability of Cement and through better logistics to reduce the cost of cement.

Notifications with specific details on all the above will be issued by GoI within the next hour.

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