Petrol, diesel taxes funding free meals and other schemes, says Hardeep Singh Puri

New Delhi: Minister of Petroleum Hardeep Singh Puri defended gasoline and diesel tariffs on Friday, claiming that the levies helped assist authorities programmes that supplied hundreds of thousands of individuals with free Covid vaccines, meals, and cooking fuel in the course of the pandemic.

This remark comes within the wake of opposition events’ calls for that the federal government cut back gasoline taxes.

The Centre, alternatively, has justified the taxes by claiming that they’re required to pay quite a few welfare programmes. Domestic charges, Puri stated right this moment, are related to worldwide oil prices, which have risen for a wide range of causes that have to be recognised.

“I think this simplistic political narrative we get in India (that), ‘Prices have gone up why don’t you reduce your taxes’… so every time price goes up due to something else, it says you axe your own feet in the process,” he stated.

According to the minister, the nation accomplished one billion vaccinations, fed 90 crore, individuals, for a 12 months in the course of the pandemic by offering three meals per day, and carried out the Ujjwala scheme, which supplied free cooking fuel LPG refills to eight crore poor individuals. “All this and much more with that Rs 32 a litre excise duty (levied by the Central government),” he stated.

The cash raised from taxes is used to develop roads, construct housing for the underprivileged, and fund different social welfare programmes. “I am not the finance minister therefore it is not an appropriate answer for me to give,” he stated on calls for for reducing taxes. “That Rs 32 a litre that we collect provides us the ability to provide all these welfare services, including 1 billion vaccines.”

Price hikes have pushed gasoline and diesel costs to all-time highs throughout the nation. Petrol prices greater than Rs 100 a litre in virtually all main cities, whereas diesel prices the identical in additional than a dozen states and union territories (UTs).

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