Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Friday parried questions on whether the government was considering a cut in taxes on imported crude to bring down the prices of petrol and diesel. “It was not in the agenda,” he said at a media briefing to a question on whether the government was considering any relief measure to cool the fuel prices that have been breaking records for a month now.
Earlier, when asked whether the GST council meeting discussed bringing petrol and diesel under the ambit of Goods and Services Tax (GST), Jaitley said “It was not in the agenda”. Political parties, including Congress, have been demanding that the petrol and diesel be brought under the GST so that duties on them can come down that will reflect in lower prices at the pump.
On Thursday, a senior Finance Ministry official said reducing overall consumption of petrol and diesel in the country is part of an overall exercise to cut down on Current Account Deficit (CAD), apart from reducing non-essential imports and boosting exports.