Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan has said that Bharat Stage VI (BS VI) would be introduced in and around April 2020 in the country and it would be as clean as CNG. Pradhan, addressing the workshop on ‘Converging the Divergence between Diesel and Petrol Prices,’ said that the process of upgrading the refineries for BS VI fuel production has commenced with an investment of Rs 30,000 crore. Earlier this year, the Supreme Court of India imposed a ban on the sales of BS III vehicles in the country from April 1, 2017 which created quite a mayhem and stocks worth Rs. 600 Crores went unsold.
Pradhan also ruled out the possibility of abolishment of taxes on petrol and diesel to soften the impact of rising international oil prices, which has resulted in petrol rates increasing by over Rs. 6 per litre since the beginning of July. For those asking, in June 2017, the state-owned oil firms ditched the 15-year old practice of revising fuel rates on 1st and 16th of every month in favour of a more practical approach of daily price revision to instantly reflect changes in cost. Though, the prices during the first fortnight lowered down but have been on steep rise since July 3. While petrol prices have increased by Rs 6.08 to reach Rs 69.12 a litre in Delhi, the highest since August 2014, diesel rates have risen by Rs 3.65 to Rs 57.01.
"That situation has not come where we should relook at tax structure," Pradhan told reporters on the sidelines of an industry event here. The rate changes are being done on a transparent basis and city-wise prices are available through SMS, he said adding the daily price change model best reflects the happenings in the market. Asked if the government is considering cutting excise duty on petrol and diesel, he said, "Not yet. When the situation arises, we will see. We have been time and again requesting Ministry of Finance as well as states for an inclusion of petroleum products in the GST regime." On the issue of equalising price of petrol and diesel by bringing tax rates at par, he said diesel is used as a fuel by transport and agriculture sector as also by SUVs. Petrol, on the other hand, is used in cars as well as two- and three- wheelers.
Source: ET Auto