The West Bengal government on Sunday announced a reduction of tax by Rs 1 per litre on petrol and diesel, which will be applicable from midnight of February 22.

State Finance Minister Amit Mitra said the move will provide some respite to people stung by burgeoning prices of fuel.

“State govt believe that this will provide some respite to the people. The Central government levies Rs 32.90 as tax + cess on one litre of petrol,” he said.

Ahead of Assembly polls in the state, Mitra challenged union Home Minister Amit Shah for a virtual debate on the increase of cess on fuel prices. “However it is significant to mention that when Modi Government came to power total aggregated cess was 8 per cent of the gross tax collected and now it has increased to 14.5 per cent. This is why the CAG has also questioned the Central government on why they are increasing cess and not tax? This is a direct attack on the federal structure. I have also written to the Finance Minister of India highlighting the same,” Mitra stated.

Later, in a tweet, the minister said the tax rebate on fuel will be valid till June 30.

“To reduce the common man’s burden, the State Government has decided to allow rebate of Re 1 per litre on sales tax payable on sales of petrol and diesel w.E.F. The end of midnight of 22nd February, 2021 till 30th day of June, 2021,” Mitra said.

In the past few days, petrol and diesel prices increased with steep hikes, pinching the consumers harder, and drawing criticism for the government from several quarters along with the opposition.

Across the country, the surge in fuel prices off late has been in the range of 35-40 paisa per litre depending on the level of local taxes on the two petroleum products.

Premium petrol has crossed Rs 100 per litre mark in several cities of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra a few days back.


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