Bringing petrol, diesel under GST will not reduce price: Finance Minister Balagopal

New Delhi: It is incorrect to say that bringing the fuel prices under the GST will bring down the price, Kerala finance minister K N Balagopal said on Saturday.

While meeting the press at New Delhi after the GST Council meeting at Lucknow, he said there is a campaign, especially by BJP leaders in Kerala, that enabling GST will reduce the fuel price. It is misleading. The campaign is to take the attention away from the unreasonable cess levied by the Union government, he alleged.

“There is no use of bringing fuel prices under GST. The Union government is already collecting Rs 28 for diesel and Rs 26 for petrol as cess. It is a special cess outside the divisible pool. It is not shared with states. Another Rs 4 is charged for a litre of diesel as agricultural cess. So if the government wants to reduce the price, the cess has to go,” Balagopal said.

Similar opinions have been expressed by many other states. Most of the states opposed the move, he added.

The current system which exempts GST for alcohol and petrol must continue to protect the interests of the states as 50 percent of the tax income will go to the Union government.Coconut oil cannot be differentiated from other cooking oils, Balagopal reacted to the attempt of bringing the most used oil in the state under the purview of GST. State’s major demands that fuels and coconut oil cannot be under GST were approved by the meet.