From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Excise duty
Mains level : Petroleum pricing in India
The Government has finally reduced fuel prices by slashing excise duties on petrol and diesel by ₹5 and ₹10 per litre respectively.
What is Excise Duty?
- Excise duty is a form of tax imposed on goods for their production, licensing and sale.
- It is the opposite of Customs duty in sense that it applies to goods manufactured domestically in the country, while Customs is levied on those coming from outside of the country.
- At the central level, excise duty earlier used to be levied as Central Excise Duty, Additional Excise Duty, etc.
- Excise duty was levied on manufactured goods and levied at the time of removal of goods, while GST is levied on the supply of goods and services.
Purview of excise duty
- The GST introduction in July 2017 subsumed many types of excise duty.
- Today, excise duty applies only on petroleum and liquor.
- Alcohol does not come under the purview of GST as exclusion mandated by constitutional provision.
- States levy taxes on alcohol according to the same practice as was prevalent before the rollout of GST.
- After GST was introduced, excise duty was replaced by central GST because excise was levied by the central government.
- The revenue generated from CGST goes to the central government.
Types of excise duty in India
Before GST, there were three kinds of excise duties in India.
(1) Basic Excise Duty
- Basic excise duty is also known as the Central Value Added Tax (CENVAT).
- This category of excise duty was levied on goods that were classified under the first schedule of the Central Excise Tariff Act, 1985.
- This duty applied on all goods except salt.
(2) Additional Excise Duty
- Additional excise duty was levied on goods of high importance, under the Additional Excise under Additional Duties of Excise (Goods of Special Importance) Act, 1957.
- This duty was levied on some special category of goods.
(3) Special Excise Duty
- This type of excise duty was levied on special goods classified under the Second Schedule to the Central Excise Tariff Act, 1985.
- Presently the central excise duty comprises of a Basic Excise Duty, Special Additional Excise Duty and Additional Excise Duty (Road and Infrastructure Cess) on auto fuels.
Present taxation of Fuels
- Currently, taxes on petroleum products are levied by both the Centre and the states.
- While the Centre levies excise duty, states levy value-added tax (VAT).
- For instance, VAT on petroleum products is as high as 40% in Maharashtra, contributing over ₹25,000 crores annually.
- By being able to levy VAT on these products, the state governments have control over their revenues.
- When a national GST subsumed central taxes such as excise duty and state levies like VAT on July 1, 2017, five petroleum goods – petrol, diesel, ATF, natural gas and crude oil – were kept out of its purview.
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