Do you know how much you have to pay for 1 liter of petrol nowadays in India? And how much portion goes into the tax to the government? Percentage-wise speaking, you end paying anywhere near 70% of what you pay for 1 liter of fuel as tax to the government. Well, if you have been following the headlines recently, you must be thinking of buying a bicycle or an electric car. The fuel prices in India are literally skyrocketing for the past few months. The uprising is mainly because of the inferior tax structure of the central as well as state government.
We will see the exact tax structure in the following sections. But first, let’s have a look at fuel price trending in India in the past couple of years.
As you can see from the trend, there is a significant rise in the prices over the past 10 years. The prices of crude oil only have about a 40% influence on the actual price of petrol or diesel in India. However, the rest is controlled or affected by the tax structure of the government and seller’s commission. Also, the interesting point to note here is the government plays a significant role in controlling prices because they are the ones who are actually making contracts with Oil exporters and designing various policies around energy consumption.
Where does India Stand?
As they say, the devil is in the details. The average consumer pays the government (Central + State) approximately 69% of the 1-liter petrol cost in India. Yes, you read that right. It is 69%. This is the highest in any part of the world. Given the fact that India only produces 20% oil of its requirement, India is a net oil importer. Therefore, India is open to geopolitical friction, market ups, and downs, and gets affected by periodically changing relations between dominating countries in the petroleum realm.
Read More – Oligopolistic Nature of Oil
Of Rs 83.71 for one liter of petrol in Delhi, according to data available on the website of the Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell (PPAC), the oil itself is priced at Rs 26.34 per liter. The rest is taxes, duty, and dealer’s commission. The adjoining graph shows various countries with their tax percentages per liter of petrol at the end consumer level. The US has the lowest % of tax among the countries whereas India has the highest followed by Italy, France, and Germany respectively.
How the price of Petrol and Diesel are determined?
|Particulars||Petrol Prices||Diesel Prices|
|Crude oil prices in the international market (with ocean freight)||$ 72.5 per barrel Or Rs. 4930 per barrel||$ 72.5 per barrel Or Rs. 4930 per barrel|
|1 Barrel is equal to||159 liter||159 liter|
|Crude oil cost per liter||31 per liter||31 per liter|
|Basic Cost Calculation|
|Refinery processing, entry cost, landing cost, other operational costs along with margins||2.62 per liter||5.91 per liter|
|Freight Cost, Transportation Cost and margin of Oil Marketing Companies||3.31 per liter||2.87 per liter|
|Basic cost of fuel after refining cost||36.93 per liter||39.78 per liter|
|Excise Duty + Road Cess charged by the Central Government||19.48 per liter||15.33 per liter|
|The price taken from the dealer before the VAT is charged||56.41 per liter||55.11 per liter|
|Dealer Retail Price Calculation – Location Delhi|
|Commission of Petrol Pump Dealers||3.62 per liter||2.52 per liter|
|Fuel cost before VAT is charged||60.03 per liter||57.63 per liter|
|27% VAT(different in every state) is charged on the Petrol and 16.75% on the diesel + 25paise as pollution cess with surcharges||16.21 per liter||9.91 per liter|
|Final Retail Price at the petrol pumps in Delhi||76.24 per liter||67.54 per liter|
|Difference between base price and end consumer price||40.24 per liter||36.54 per liter|
|% of tax on base price||109.0%||91.9%|
Note:- The numbers considered for the above calculation are for understanding purposes and updated as of June 2020. They may change according to periodic variations in government policies.
The above table clearly shows the exact calculation that goes into determining the price of 1-liter fuel. We can see that the percentage of tax basis the basic cost of petrol and diesel out of refinery is 109 % and 92% respectively.
From the above table, the maximum contributors in the tax were excise duty and road cess imposed by the central government and VAT per liter imposed by the state government. As of last week Jan 2021, a consumer is paying Rs. 90 per liter of petrol in Mumbai however crude oil is ranging somewhere around $55 per barrel.
Right now, the government has more elbow room to increase petrol and diesel prices by exercising the permission it had taken from Parliament in March this year. The government obtained parliamentary approval to increase the special excise duty on petrol by Rs 18 and on diesel by Rs 12. The earlier limit was Rs 10 for petrol and Rs 12 for diesel. In conclusion, if the government (central and state governments) reduce their taxes by 50% then the prices of petrol and diesel in each state can be reduced up to Rs. 20 per liter.
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