While elaborating reasons behind this nation level high prices of petrol in city, Amol Bhedsurkar, president of the association said: "Higher transportation cost reflected into petrol prices.We have to collect petrol from Manmad depot, after that dealers have to pay toll and other charges which are responsible for highest fuel prices". Maharashtra emerged as the first state expressing a willingness to bring petroleum products under GST. Opposition parties are demanding a cut in the excise duty on petrol and diesel and bringing fuel under the ambit of GST. "Till then dependence on oil will continue", he said. While the tax share of large corporations have come down substantially, the tax share of fuel consumers and income tax payers has risen.
Over the next five to six years, the target should be to increase non-oil tax to GDP ratio by at least 1.5 per cent and this is the long-term solution, he said. "If we expand the tax base in the same proportion as we did past year, then non-oil GDP ratio will go up", he said. Till May 31, when the LDF government effected a slight cut in the sales tax on petrol and diesel, Kerala's was the sixth highest sales tax levy on both petrol and diesel. "2008-2014, it was static", he said. The state governments can choose to reduce state taxes to lighten the burden of the common man, but due to revenue pressures, not many are willing to take the bait. Of this, 50 per cent is non-oil and 50 per cent is oil. Revenue foregone on account of corporate tax incentives have totalled over Rs 85,000 crore per year in the last two financial years, as per the receipts budget 2018-19.
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In countries which are tax compliant, oil is taxed at a rate which is less than that in India. The state governments impose Value-Added Tax over and above this. The VAT is now reduced to 26 percent from 30 percent which would be close to a Rs 2.5/litre drop from Sunday's prices. The petitioner, through her counsel A Maitri, has also alleged that fuel prices are politically controlled. "Inflation was 4.1 per cent in Vajpayee government, 5.8 per cent in UPA-1, 10.4 per cent in UPA-2 and in current NDA around 4.5 per cent average".