23rd Feb 2021 11:02:PM Editorials
Eastern Sentinel Arunachal News

After a two-day pause in the current unabated rise of petrol and diesel prices it was thought the marauding march has entered a phase of temporary respite. The hopes, however, were dashed on Tuesday morning as across the country there were record new highs. Given the fact the word ‘chronology’ has assumed great importance in the country these days and is being used to press ahead arguments, when applied in this case it can be found that it was exactly from January 6 the prices started rising. While the upswing since then has been intermittent, the current phase has been the most painful one. For an economy which has been bruised badly by the pandemic, the ‘long march’ will definitely delay the revival process. Common citizens are the first-hand sufferers and it seems they have been left in lurch for an indefinite period of time.

There are new developments as Union Finance and Petroleum Ministers have hinted that the Centre is mooting to bring petroleum products under GST purview. Talks on it were there since the GST roll out with for and against voices. Even if the price rise issue is a bit complex to understand for any common man since it invariably involves a set of factors that are technical in nature such as rupee-dollar-euro exchange, per barrel prices international prices of crude oil, clout of OPEC countries in determining prices and so on, the fundamentals have remained the same. At any given point of time it’s an unmistakable feature that around 60% of retail prices of petrol and diesel coughed up by consumers is made up of taxes- the excise component as levied by the Centre and VAT/sales tax charged by the states. This has been the norm over decades and taking an objective view it must be agreed there are almost no alternative, since for revenue, both Centre and states have to rely heavily on the existing tax pattern. Petroleum has been one of the biggest exclusions from the GST regime and it’s being anticipated that its inclusion will effectively bring the fuel prices down. Apparently sounding a feasible alternative as it will herald uniformity in prices across the country and bring them down, its implementation, however, may run into rough weather as the states then will have to forego the rights of imposing VAT/sales tax, their most-reliable sources of revenue earnings. The Centre will then decide the GST structure of fuels and without consensus on compensation of revenue loss to the states for this shift, if any, the roll out will face a bumpy ride.


For the common man, the above technicalities hardly matter and the singular wish is that prices of fuel come down immediately. Sincere efforts, unfortunately, are still missing for stopping the marathon.


Kenter Joya Riba

(Managing Editor)
      She is a graduate in Science with post graduation in Sociology from University of Pune. She has been in the media industry for nearly a decade. Before turning to print business, she has been associated with radio and television.
Email: kenterjoyaz@easternsentinel.in / editoreasternsentinel@gmail.com
Phone: 0360-2212313

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