Nirmala Sitharaman said there should be less burden on consumers and both the Centre and states should talk with each other over reducing taxes on diesel and petrol
At a time when there is protest across many states in India due to the rising fuel prices and price of petrol is nearing Rs100, questions are being asked tothe government about when the prices of fuel will come down.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman was also asked the same question at an event today in Ahmedabad to which she replied that I won't be able to say 'when'.. it is a ‘dharam sankat’ (dilemma)...,"
#WATCH | "I won't be able to say 'when'.. it is a ‘dharam sankat’ (dilemma)...," says Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in Ahmedabad, after being asked when would the Central Government reduce fuel prices pic.twitter.com/Mnpn76I2xR
The Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman further said there should be less burden on consumers and both the Centre and states should talk with each other over reducing taxes on diesel and petrol whose prices have risen sharply in recent times.
Asked if the Centre is mulling to reduce cess or other taxes on fuel to give some respite to consumers from high prices of diesel and petrol, she said the question has put her in "dharm-sankat" (dilemma).
"No hiding of the fact that the Centre gets revenue from it. Same is the case with states. I agree that there should be less burden on the consumers.
"For that, both the Centre and states should talk with each other (for reducing central as well as state taxes on fuel)," she said during an interaction with the students of the Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad (IIMA).
Meanwhile, Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan today said petroleum products in the country are getting costlier due to rising prices of crude by oil-producing nations.
"In order to earn more profit in the interest of their countries, crude-supplying countries are increasing the prices of crude," said Pradhan while speaking to reporters here on the rise in the prices of petroleum products like petrol and diesel in India.
He said crude-supplying countries have been requested to desist from the hike in crude prices as it directly affects consumers.
They have created an artificial increase in the interest of their own country, he added.
"Arbitrarily, you cannot hike the prices as it affects consuming countries," Pradhan said in reference to oil-producing countries.
Owing to bad weather, the production in the US has slowed in the past two-three weeks, Pradhan said.
The minister said he expects an improvement in the situation in some time.
Now, the basic problem before the government is to provide relief, employment, save the jobs of the employed, make efforts so that people get money as well as improve health services, the minister said.
He added that the government has planned to provide free vaccine to poor senior citizens by investing ₹35,000 crore.
Pradhan said finances are required to develop rail, roads and ports, among others. The taxes collected by Union and state governments at present are spent on the development of people, he added.
Earlier, the minister laid the foundation stone of a building in Vatsalya Gram here run by Sadhvi Ritambhara, being constructed for the physically challenged, funded by Oil and Natural Gas Corporation under its CSR programme.
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