Tue, 20 Apr 2021

New Delhi [India], March 2 (ANI): Amid mounting pressure from all the quarters to reduce taxes on petrol and diesel, the Finance Ministry vigorously started to discuss the burning issue which has created a hole in consumers' pockets, sources told ANI on Tuesday.

"The government is discussing as to what extent the taxes could be cut, and that too, without having much stress on either the Centre or the state government. The discussion has been started among the Ministry officials on how to bring the Centre and government on a platform where relief from high fuel prices can be given to the common man," said highly placed sources.

They said that the Finance Ministry is exploring all kinds of possible options to handle the imminent crisis and is trying to bring states and the Centre at one platform to ensure an expeditious reduction of the prices.

Currently, the petrol prices in Delhi are Rs 91.17 per litre and diesel is at Rs 81.47 per litre.

Sources privy to knowledge said that apart from excise duty cut, ministry officials have started to find a way to start deliberation with states, as asked by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman last month.

The Finance Minister had said that the only way to find a solution to this problem is that the Centre and states should hold a dialogue. "I concede that's where action has to be, let's see what we can do," said Sitharaman, adding that she agrees the end-users should pay less for fuel.

Earlier in an interview with ANI, Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan had appealed to Finance Minister that diesel and petrol prices are hurting the common people and Sitharaman should have a dialogue with the states to bring the prices down.

Last week, Reserve Bank Governor Shaktikanta Das has also said that diesel and petrol prices do have an impact on the cost side. "They play as cost-push factor across a range of activities. It's not just that passengers who use cars and bikes. High fuel prices also have an impact on the cost of manufacturing, transportation, and other aspects, I am sure the state and central government will take a positive decision in a coordinated manner," the RBI Governor had said.

As the coronavirus pandemic hit economic activity, the Centre has twice raised taxes on petrol and diesel in the last 12 months to boost sagging tax revenues instead of passing on the benefits of low oil prices last year to consumers. (ANI)

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