In a significant step aimed at providing relief to people from high prices of petrol and diesel, the Centre on Saturday announced a reduction in excise duty on petrol by Rs 8 per litre and on diesel by Rs 6 per litre.
Making the announcement in tweets, Finance Minister Sitharman said that the move will have a revenue implication of around Rs 1 lakh crore per year. The minister, who made several other announcements aimed at curbing inflation said subsidy will be provided on cylinders under Ujjwala scheme.
She urged states to also reduce VAT on petroleum products to give relief to the common man.
The government had similarly reduced excise duty on petrol and diesel in November last year on the eve of Diwali. It had reduced excise duty on petrol by Rs 5 a litre and on diesel by Rs 10 a litre.
"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," Sitharam said.
"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," she added.
The minister said that this year the government will give a subsidy of Rs 200 per gas cylinder (up to 12 cylinders) to over nine 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 said.
The minister also referred to the Ukraine conflict and said in addition of the fertilizer subsidy of Rs 1.05 lakh crore announced in the budget, an additional amount of Rs 1.10 lakh crore is being provided to help the farmers.
"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.
Sitharaman said the Narendra Modi government 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," she said.
The Minister said that notifications with specific details on the announcements are being issued by the Centre.
The government data earlier this week showed that the wholesale inflation in India surged to 15.08 per cent in April from 14.55 per cent in the previous month due to a sharp jump in the prices of fuel, metal, food and non-food articles and chemical products.