Northern states agree on uniform tax rates on fuel

Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh and the Union Territory of Chandigarh on Tuesday agreed to fix uniform tax rates on petroleum products, amid rising fuel prices.

The finance ministers of the five states and senior officials of Chandigarh held a meeting, an initiative of Haryana Finance and excise and Taxation Ministry, to consider the fixing of uniform tax rates on petrol and diesel and to implement ‘One Nation One Tax System’. In the meeting, it was further decided that a sub-committee would be constituted which would give their recommendation with regard to uniformity in tax rates in the next fifteen days.

Haryana Finance Minister Captain Abhimanyu, who was addressing the meeting, said it was decided in the meeting that the states would consider uniforming the VAT rates on fuel which would eventually provide relief to the consumers.

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It was also discussed in the meeting that the diversion of trade will be curbed. Notably, Punjab has one of the highest rates of VAT on petrol in the country and it is second to Maharashtra.

Deputy Chief Minister and Finance Minister Delhi, Manish Sisodia represented Delhi in the meeting while on behalf of Punjab, the Finance Minister Punjab, Manpreet Singh Badal attended the meeting. The other states were, however, represented by their senior officials.

Participating in the discussion, Manish Sisodia on one hand said that the northern-states have shown consensus on having same tax rates on liquor also, while Punjab Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal during the meeting suggested that there should be a uniform policy for the state transport so that there should be no loss of revenue from registration and permit fees because of different tax rates.

A committee of officials has also been set up for excise and transport which would send the reports to the respective state government on the uniformity of rates.

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