Attributing the recent rise in fuel prices to a hurricane in the US, Union petroleum and natural gas minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Saturday said the rates will come down in the next few days.
Attributing the recent rise in fuel prices to a hurricane in the US, Union petroleum and natural gas minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Saturday said the rates will come down in the next few days. “Fuel prices have gone up recently due to the hurricane in the US. As the prices reduce in the international market, they will come down here also,” Pradhan told reporters here. Pradhan was in Gujarat to launch Union Government’s nationwide initiative Pradhan Mantri LPG Panchayat at Isanpur Mota in Gandhinagar district. The rates have already started to come down in the last three days,” he said, adding the petrol and diesel prices had been linked to the market since the last 20 years.
When asked over the possibility of reduction in taxes on petroleum products to curb the fuel prices, Pradhan said taxes can’t be slashed as funds are necessary for infrastructure development and welfare schemes. “Don’t you need good roads? Don’t you need pure drinking water? Don’t you need good education for your children? Dono haath main laddu nahi ho sakte (You cannot have laddus in both your hands),” Pradhan said. “In a democracy, it is from the taxes of the people that the welfare schemes are funded. This is not any hidden system. Everybody knows that most part of the revenue earned through taxes is spent on the welfare schemes,” he added.
Pradhan also appealed to bring petroleum products under the goods and services tax (GST). The petroleum ministry has sent a proposal regarding this to the GST Council. He said, “Petroleum products should be brought under the GST for the benefit of customers. We have given a proposal to the GST Council to include petroleum products under the GST. The uniform tax will benefit all stakeholders.” Furthermore, the government will organise 1 lakh such LPG Panchayat across India in the next 18 months. LPG panchayat will serve as an interactive platform for the beneficiaries of LPG cylinders under the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY), while for the officials, NGOs and other stakeholders, it will be a medium to identify the issues faced by the rural population for using LPG. The government wants to connect 1 crore households with piped gas connections. Currently, about 30 lakh piped gas connections have been given across India and of it nearly 50% are in Gujarat. This will require huge investments and create large employment in the petroleum industry.