Here’s the thing: Petrol and diesel no longer remain commodities…The two seemingly liquid matter have become a symbol of luxury in new India. Earlier, people used to get their cars insured but it feels like they may also have to get insurance for how much crude oil they own!
After “unlocking” many car owners discovered a sharp rise in petrol and diesel prices. They surely sensed that they’d stepped into a new India and that’s because from the past 6 months, tax on crude oil has increased just as wildly as the number of covid patients!
Let’s get into the “maths” shall we?
Every month, Controller General of Accounts (CGA) declares revenue and expenses of the central government. So, on Sep 30th they did what they had to do: reveal how much had been spent and how much had been earned from April to August.
The data showed a large decline in total revenue generated during that time. To understand why this was the case, we took help from Vivek Kaul, someone who has the ability to breakdown numbers into words.
He shows that if we take a whole average, then we see a drop of 23.7% in tax collection from April to August (lockdown surely played a big factor there). In words, a loss of 5 lakh crore rupees!
But according to Kaul, there is one particular type of tax, which has risen incredibly even before, during, or after, lockdown, as shown by the graph below!
That tax is “excise” duty, mainly on crude oil purchase, which has shown growth of 32.05%. This equals, in terms of money, a growth of 1 lakh crore!
First, they increased excise duty in March, from 19.98 to 22.98, then again in May, to 31.58 Rupees. Both petrol and diesel prices soared, thanks to this “unnatural” rise.
(Since there was no outrage over this, just because everybody, including media and government spokespersons, was busy at that time blaming who brought in corona, the authorities continued increasing excise duty)
Petrol price in March excluding taxes was Rs 32.93 and Rs 71.71 when all taxes included. Cut to Octobers, without taxes, petrol price is Rs 25.68, but our government, puts in all the taxes, and sells it at Rs 81.06.
Now, that is achhe din!
Not only central government, all the state governments also pull in large taxes on petrol, more than what might be required. However, in May, when the central government increased 10 rupees tax on petrol, 8 out of it was directed to central government whereas only 2 rupees for the states.
It’s surprising that during lockdown, even when consumption of petrol and diesel was an all-time low, taxes on these commodities kept on increasing!?
Now, andh-bhakt type people will say: “Oh, there’s so much tension with China, and there’s always Pakistan, our soldiers need equipment, can’t you pay some more tax, you fool?”
Of course, we desh-bhakts proudly support our soldiers, but this should be made explicit by the government, and we shall do whatever is possible in our merit. Also, tell the government to stop spending our tax money on new parliament building and central vista.
Isn’t the already-existing parliament good enough?!
But you know what? The government wouldn’t admit there’s a money problem, and they will also continue to invest in buildings which aren’t needed!
Also, since 2014, petrol prices have been declining, even internationally! But, in India, the situation is complete opposite…you know what I mean?
And now, andh-bhakt type people might say: “Why use cars then? Use bikes with better mileage? Or better, walk, cycle, stay healthy, na!? If that is also a problem, go to Pakistan!”
So, here’s the thing…in Pakistan, petrol is cheaper: 46.23 rupees. In fact, in the whole subcontinent, Indian prices put others to shame, we are so far ahead after all!
The big question is: Where’s the opposition, where’s the reports by media, and where’s the “woke” citizenry?