The Centre levies a total of Rs 19.48 per litre of excise duty on petrol and Rs 15.33 per litre on diesel.
Petrol and diesel prices saw a hike for the sixth straight day on Tuesday as oil marketing firms again revised fuel prices across the country. "The petitioner has reasons to submit that enhanced fuel prices (petrol and diesel) are being demanded/charged as per political wish, need and necessities", the petition alleged. "It would remove a lot of discrepancies that happen when different states have different rates", said an oil industry official.
Meanwhile, Rajasthan government announced a 4 per cent cut in the state VAT on petrol and diesel on Sunday to reduce their prices by Rs 2.5 per litre in the state, while Andhra Pradesh government on Monday announced a reduction of tax on petrol and diesel by Rs 2 a litre, to reduce the burden on common caused by zooming fuel prices. He explained that once tax revenue from direct taxes (income tax) and non-oil indirect taxes go up, there will be a possibility of cutting taxes on oil.
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Over the next five to six years, the target should be to increase non-oil tax to GDP ratio by at least 1.5 per cent and this is the long-term solution, he said.
In countries which are tax compliant, oil is taxed at a rate which is less than that in India. "Time has come to change this government", said Singh.
Since states levy Value-Added Tax as ad valorem duty, a rise in prices has increased their profits.
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Other highest centres include Nanded where petrol was retailing at Rs 89.93 per litre and diesel Rs 77.90, and Amravati Rs 89.93 and Rs 78.84. In Chennai, petrol costs Rs 84.05 and diesel Rs 77.13. "The effect of this benefit has kept inflation under control despite rise in fuel prices".
In an election year, the spending cut is not an option, the official said reasoning that it would hamper the government's spending on development schemes.
Among the 29 Indian states and the union territory of Delhi, Kerala has the ninth highest sales tax and other state levies on petrol at 30.37 per cent; it is highest in Mumbai at 39.12 per cent (down from 48.98 per cent early this year).
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"The government can not disturb fiscal maths by cutting excise duty", he said.