Government of India Silently Makes Money in Coronavirus Outbreak


Indian Parliament has adjourned sine die. For the first time in the history of India, the Finance Bill was passed without any discussion as all the parties unanimously decided to adjourn the Parliament due to the Coronavirus outbreak. In the chaos, the Government silently incorporated a clause which will enable to burn a hole in the pockets of the people.

In the Finance Bill 2020, the Government has amended the law to get enabling powers to raise excise duty on petrol, diesel by Rs 8 per liter each in the future. The current cap on the same was Rs 10 for petrol and Rs 4 for diesel and can be increased up to Rs 18 and Rs 12 per liter on petrol and diesel.

Crude Oil prices are at an all-time low in the international markets. The Central Government is silently increasing the Excise Duties without passing the benefits of the lower prices to the public. Interestingly, all the hikes are in the form of cesses which need not be shared with the State Governments.

On March 14, the excise duty on petrol and diesel by Rs 3 a liter each. An additional Re 1 per liter was also levied on both petrol and diesel under the road and infrastructure cess (RIC). The March 14 excise duty hike had reportedly helped the government collect over Rs 2,000 crore. “This is not making money, this loot public,” the Opposition criticizes.

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