Telangana Finance Minister Etela Rajender today said the state would suffer huge financial losses if the Centre brings petrol and diesel under the ambit of Goods and Services Tax (GST). Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a programme, the minister said Telangana differs with some of the terms of reference issued by the 15th Finance Commission. “This (bringing petrol and diesel under GST) is not a correct decision. It would hurt the federal spirit of our country. If these products are brought under GST, state finances will be further reduced,” he said. Liquor and fuel should not come under GST, he added. States should have some independence for generating their own economy, the minister further said.
On the current prices of petrol and diesel hovering above Rs 80 and Rs 70 respectively, the minister said instead of suggesting to states to reduce VAT on the products, the central government should cut excise duty and bring prices down.
“Most of the welfare schemes are implemented by the states. We request the central government to reduce central excise, which has been continuously increased,” he said, adding it is the responsibility of the Centre to reduce and give relief to common man.
The minister said, “Though Telangana opted out of the recent conference in Amaravati in Andhra Pradesh held by some of the finance ministers on the changes to the terms of reference (ToR) of the 15th Finance Commission, Telangana would voice its concerns to the centre.”
“The ToR of the 15th finance commission are in the form of curbing states’ rightful resources and may become an impediment to development. This is not good. We may not have attended the meeting, but this is our opinion. We will convey it to the Centre,” he explained. Opposing the ToR of the 15th Finance Commission, finance ministers of various states recently met in the AP capital. Telangana was not part of that meeting.