BJP leader falsely claims Bengal levies more tax on petrol than Centre
Tathagata Roy claims state tax is Rs 22 higher than Centre's, but data shows central excise exceeds state tax by Rs 10
Senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader and former Governor of Meghalaya and Tripura Tathagata Roy recently blamed the Mamata Banerjee-led government in West Bengal for the rising petrol prices. He claimed that the state tax was higher than the Centre's.
"This rate chart should be hanged in every petrol pump. Basic rate - Rs 30.50, Central Govt tax - Rs 16.50, West Bengal Govt's tax - Rs 38.50 and Distributor's charge - Rs 06.50. Total price of petrol - Rs 92.05. Now public must understand for price hike who is responsible and how much responsible?" he tweeted in Bengali.
July 11, 2021
But this claim is false. According to the data released by the Petroleum and Planning Analysis Cell, a body under the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas, the Rs 32.90 levied as central excise is higher than the total tax and cess imposed by the West Bengal government.
Fact-check: Petrol price breakup
In 2010, the prices of petrol were determined by the government and were revised every fortnight. In 2014 the price of diesel was also deregulated and since 2017 prices are being revised on a daily basis.
Since then, the public sector Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) make decisions on pricing of petrol and diesel based on international product prices, exchange rate, tax structure, inland freight and other cost elements, according to a March 8, 2021 Lok Sabha response. These OMCs are Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL) Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL).
According to the PPAC, in West Bengal, the end consumer pays a total of:
- Price to dealer
- Central excise (A Union government levy)
- Value added/Sales tax (A state government levy): 25%
- Additional tax on VAT as irrecoverable tax: 20%
- Re 1/litre cess (Minus Re 0.017 exemption)
- Dealer commission
The excise charged on per litre of petrol includes: Rs 1.4 basic excise duty, Rs 11 special additional excise duty, Rs 2.5 as agriculture, infrastructure and development cess and Rs 18 additional excise duty (road and infrastructure cess). These total to Rs 32.9, which is the central excise charged across states.
According to the price of petrol in Kolkata as on July 1, the dealer commission is Rs 3.82 per litre. So, here is what people in Kolkata are paying for as part of petrol prices:
Price to dealer
So, the tax levied by the state totals to Rs 22.633 (Rs 18.04 VAT + Rs 3.61 Irrecoverable tax + Re 1 cess – Re 0.017 exemption). Despite three components, central excise is still Rs 10.267 higher than state tax.
In fact, the calculation includes Re 1 cess as the PPAC's records still show it as a component. But the West Bengal government withdrew this cess on February 22 for four months and then renewed the withdrawal for another three months through a notification.
FactChecker tried contacting Roy for a comment, but he had not answered our calls by the time this article was published.