Union Minister Rameswar Teli on Saturday said that taxes on petroleum products funded the free Covid-19 vaccines provided by the Centre to the people.
The Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas was expressing his concern over the steadily rising prices of fuel when he said that even a bottle of mineral water costs higher than petroleum in the current scenario.
While talking to the media on Saturday, Teli said that according to him the price of petrol is not high, as it involves the tax that is levied along with it.
“The price of petrol is not high, there is tax involved in it. The price of (packaged mineral) water is higher than that of fuel. The price of petrol is ₹ 40, the Assam government imposes ₹ 28 VAT, the Petroleum Ministry imposes ₹ 30, it becomes ₹ 98. But if you drink Himalaya water, then the cost of a bottle is Rs.100. The cost of water is more, not of oil,” he said.
The minister then went on to explain that the money for the free vaccines comes from the taxes that the central government collects and that is how the government was able to roll out free vaccination camps.
“Fuel prices aren’t high but include the tax levied. You must’ve taken a free vaccine, where will the money come from? You haven’t paid the money, this is how it was collected,” he said.
The Union Minister said that the petrol price is the highest in Rajasthan and added that the state government has imposed maximum VAT on petrol. “Even if we reduce the price, they will not,” he said, adding that VAT can be reduced by the state government.
The minister also went on to say that the opposition-ruled governments think that if fuel prices stay high, the centre will get the blame.
Petrol and diesel prices continued their upward trend for the seventh consecutive day on Monday. Prices of petrol and diesel rose by ₹ 0.30 (Rs 104.44/litre) and ₹ 0.35 (Rs 93.17/litre) respectively in Delhi.In Mumbai, petrol was priced at ₹ 110.41/litre (up by ₹ 0.29) and diesel costs ₹ 101.03/litre (up by ₹ 0.37) on Monday.