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Can petroleum products forms part of GST?

16th February 2011
By Atul in Taxes
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In our previous article we discussed about the Orissa’s demand to keep coal royalty out of the purview of the Goods and Service Tax (GST). That Orissa came out with a demand to keep coal royalty out of the purview of the Goods and Service Tax (GST). If it is included in the GST list, the effective rate would be 12 per cent, as both state GST and Central GST would be levied at six per cent each on coal. And Our Finance Minister, Mr Pranab Mukherjee is now looking forward to roll out the Goods and Services tax simultaneously with the Direct Taxes Code (DTC) from April 1, 2012. Now let’s have a look what our Oil Industry is expecting from the upcoming Goods and Services Tax.
With the different tax rates leading to fuel prices varying from state to state, the oil industry has demanded inclusion of crude oil and its products, and natural gas in the reformist GST (Goods and Services Tax) regime. We often used to see different fuel prices from states to states and the main reason for this is the different tax rates structure followed by the states according to their budgetary targets.

Earlier our Finance Ministry proposed to keep crude oil, petrol, diesel, ATF and natural gas permanently outside Goods and Service Tax (GST) through a Constitutional Amendment. There are many states in India who heavily depends on collections from levies on oil products to make up for their budgetary targets. So this has been proposed basically to protect the finances of states. However, recently a letter has been written by the Petrofed, a body representing both public and private sector companies like Indian Oil Corp, seeking inclusion of crude oil, petrol, diesel, aviation turbine fuel (ATF) and natural gas in the Goods and Services Tax .
According to Petrofed, the inclusion of petroleum products under Goods and Service Tax (GST) will eliminate twisted wires of taxes paid by suppliers as well as by the industry at different stages in the petroleum value chain. Further, it will also enable the States and the Centre to capture full revenue potential up to sale to final consumers.

The 13th Finance Commission has also recommended that petrol, diesel, ATF, crude oil and natural gas should form part of Goods and Service Tax (GST) legislation. Even it has also recommended that, if necessary, an additional tax can also be levied on these commodities in addition to the Goods and Service Tax (GST) to look after the financial concerns of the states. But our Finance Ministry wants to keep them permanently out of the GST through Constitutional Amendment.
So for the time being, the progress in the proposed Goods and Services tax regime which once took a very good pace seems to be slowing down just because of the absence of the one word i.e. Consensus. And it also appears that in the near future there will be no end in sight to the differences between the Centre and the States over the model required for the introduction of the Goods and Services Tax.
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