Petrol and diesel prices will not be cut as Finance Minister NirmalaSitharaman ignored calls for a reduction in excise duty rates to help bring down prices from historic high levels.
Instead, her Budget for the 2021-22 fiscal tweaked excise duty structure to accommodate an agriculture infrastructure development cess, whose accruals would not be shared with the states.
Besides the tweak, the Budget proposed monetisation of oil and gas pipelines of gas utility GAIL and oil refiners Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd (HPCL).
Ujjwala scheme of providing free cooking gas to poor women will be extended to 1 crore more beneficiaries.
A gas pipeline to Jammu and Kashmir as well as setting up of an independent gas transport system operator (TSO) also form part of the budget.
Sitharaman in the Budget imposed aRs 2.5 per litreagricess on petrol and Rs 4 a litre on diesel. But this was offset by an equivalent reduction in excise duty.
As of now, a basic excise duty (BED) of Rs 2.98 per litre is levied on petrol, and another Rs 12 a litre is charged as special additional excise duty (SAED) and Rs 18 as road and infrastructure cess. To accommodate the agricess, the BED was cut to Rs 1.4 and SAED to Rs 11.