Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley took a dig at the Opposition over its attack on the Centre for fuel price rise, saying “international price of crude oil cannot be resolved by either the tweets or television bytes of some opposition leaders”.
In a post on Facebook, Jaitley said high international price of crude oil is responsible for the weakening rupee and widening CAD."The challenges thrown up by the increase in the international price of crude oil cannot be resolved by either the tweets or television bytes of some opposition leaders. The problem is serious," Jaitley said.
On Thursday, the Centre announced a Rs 2.5 per litre cut in petrol and diesel prices, of which Rs 1.5 per litre is on account of reduction in excise duty and the remaining Rs 1 per litre would be absorbed by oil marketing companies.Jaitley said states collect extra taxes when oil prices increase since their taxes are ad valorem.
"Yet we have a situation where a number of non-BJP non-NDA States have refused to pass on any benefit to the consumer. What are the people supposed to conclude?"Are Rahul Gandhi and his reluctant allies only committed to tweets and television bytes when it comes to give relief to the common man?" Jaitley said.Jailtey said the high cost of crude oil has also impacted the currency situation.
"India's macroeconomic fundamentals with regard to its fiscal deficit, inflation, foreign exchange reserves etc. are fairly stable. Tax collections are encouraging," Jaitley said.However, a high cost of crude oil adversely impacts the current account deficit. That, in turn, impacts the currency.
Additionally, the hardening of the dollar has further impacted most global currencies.Jaitley added that the reduction of GST rates in the first 13 months itself with regard to 334 commodities has given a Rs.80,000 crore annual relief to the consumer. Last year, in the month of October, when the oil prices were rising, the Centre cut down its excise duty by Rs.2.
“We have requested the States to make a similar cut. Most of the BJP-NDA States did so. The others refused to do so,” he said.
(With PTI inputs)