Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said on Monday that the Central government is ready to bring petrol and diesel under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime. Hardeep Puri also said that it was unlikely that the states would agree to this move as liquor and energy are revenue-generating items for the states. But if the states make the move, “we are ready”, Hardeep Puri said.
Hardeep Puri said, “For bringing the petrol and diesel under the GST, the states have to agree. If the states make the move, we are ready. We have been ready all along. That’s my understanding. It is another issue how to implement it. That question should be addressed to the finance minister,” Hardeep Puri said.
“It is not difficult to understand, they (states) get revenue out of this. One who is getting revenue, why would he leave it? Liquor and energy are two things that generate revenue. It is only the Central government which is worried about inflation and other things,” Hardeep Puri added.
Earlier, Hardeep Puri had suggested that the Kerala High Court had suggested the issues be placed before the GST Council.
Hardeep Puri said, “The finance minister of that state did not agree. As far as GST is concerned, your wishes and my wishes apart, we are in a cooperative federal system.”
Justifying the rise in the petrol and diesel prices, Hardeep Puri said India has seen the lowest increases in past year.
“I am surprised by your question. In lighter vein, people are asking me when the prices will rise again. In North America, the fuel prices went up by 43 per cent in one year but in India it went up by only two per cent. If there is a bright spot anywhere in the world, it’s India. It’s not me saying it, it is Morgan Stanley. It’s the managing director of IMF saying this,” Puri said.