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Petroleum secretary to press for crude tax changes

Petroleum secretary to press for crude tax changes
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First Published: Wed, Jan 19 2011. 12 10 PM IST
Updated: Wed, Jan 19 2011. 12 10 PM IST
New Delhi: Petroleum Ministry will seek changes in crude and products duties after industry asked for cuts, petroleum secretary S. Sundareshan said on Wednesday, as international crude prices hover near two-year highs.
“Industry wants a reduction in excise and customs duties. They regularly demand it, so we will communicate this to the finance ministry that there should be rationalisation in duties,” Sundareshan told reporters.
Finance secretary Ashok Chawla said last month India might cut taxes on crude and products in its next budget, expected in the parliamentary session which starts in February.
The import duty on crude oil is currently 5%.
The federal government, faced with climbing inflation in Asia’s third-largest economy, may want to cut taxes to help counter the impact of increasing fuel costs and avoid voter ire.
The government controls diesel and cooking gas prices, but petrol was deregulated last June and retailers have raised prices since. The government partly compensates state-run firms for the losses incurred because of its caps on retail prices.
International benchmark Brent crude prices are currently around $98 per barrel, close to highs last seen in September 2008.
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First Published: Wed, Jan 19 2011. 12 10 PM IST