Bhubaneswar, April 25 : The Odisha government on Wednesday said it would take a call over the inclusion of petrol and diesel under the ambit of Goods and Services Tax (GST) when the matter is brought before the GST Council.
"The state government will take a decision whether the petrol and diesel would be included under the purview of the GST when a proposal in this regard is brought in the GST Council," said Finance Minister Sashi Bhusan Behera in his reply to a debate in the assembly on an adjournment motion over the increasing price of petrol and diesel.
He said Union Finance Minister is the chairman of the empowered committee and when the Minister brings the issue, it would discussed in the committee.
Behera admitted that the price of petrol and diesel will come down if it is brought under the ambit of GST.
The Finance Minister said that the empowered committee had decided to keep six items including petroleum products out of the GST, which was rolled out across the country from July 1 last year.
Giving a comparative figure across the country, Behera said the price of the two products is less than other states.
He blamed the Central government for increasing taxes on the two items repeatedly when the international prices were low and suggested to reduce the rate of central excise and additional taxes on petrol and diesel to bring down the prices of the two products.
He also claimed that Odisha collects only 26 per cent of VAT while the rate of VAT on petrol and diesel in other states are much higher.
Leader of Opposition Narasingha Mishra said that instead of accusing each other, the Assembly should adopt a unanimous resolution to recommend the Central government include petrol and diesel under the ambit of GST.
Ridiculing Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan who has given a call to states to include petrol and diesel under the purview of the GST, the Congress leader said: "You made a law that petroleum products can not be included in the GST.
Besides, the states do not have the power to amend constitution to bring petrol and diesel under GST,".
However, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA Pradip Puruhit said the Central govenrment has already reduced central excise on petrol by Rs 2 per litre and also urged the state government to recommend petrol and disel be included under GST.