Excise duty on petrol and diesel went up by 43 per cent and 68.8 per cent respectively between March 2020 and February 2021, even as fuel prices have sky rocketed over the past few weeks to cross the Rs 100 per litre mark in all the four metros as well as in many cities across the country.
The Centre collected Rs 1,01,598 crore through excise duty on petrol and Rs 2,33,296 crore through excise duty levy on diesel during 2020-21.
The excise duty on petrol was Rs 22.98 per litre on March 14, 2020, just 10 days before the national lockdown was imposed due to the Coronavirus pandemic. It was raised by 43 per cent to Rs 32.90 per litre on February 2, 2021, when the infection was on a downward slide.
Similarly the excise duty on diesel was at Rs 18.83 per litre on March 14, 2020 while it was raised to Rs 31.80 per litre on February 2, 2021, a hike of 68.8 per cent.
The excise duty on petrol which is currently Rs 32.90 per litre, includes basic excise duty of Rs 1.40, road and infrastructure development cess of Rs 18, agriculture and infrastructure cess of Rs 2.50 and special additional excise duty of Rs 11 is included in it.
The current excise duty on diesel is Rs 31.80 per litre, which includes basic excise duty of Rs.1.80, road and infrastructure development cess of Rs18, agriculture and infrastructure development cess of Rs 4 and special additional excise duty of Rs 8.
The total excise duty incidence as percentage of retail selling on petrol and diesel is 32.4 per cent and 35.4 per cent respectively, as on July 16, 2021, according to official estimates.
These details were provided by Petroleum Minister Hardeep Singh Puri in response to a question asked in Lok Sabha regarding the impact of the rising fuel prices on country’s economic recovery from Coronavirus pandemic.
The minister said that the revenue collected by levying these taxes is used in various developmental schemes of the Centre.
He said that over the last seven years, length of national highways have gone up by 50 per cent from 91,287 km (as on April 2014) to 1,37,625 km (as on 20 March 2021). Highway construction per day in India increased almost three times from 12 km per day in 2014-15 to 33.7 km per day in 2020-21.
The cess is used for infrastructure development and also generates employment, the minister claimed in his reply.