Kolkata: Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman has categorically stated that there would be no reduction in excise duty on fuel as of now. She also held the UPA government responsible for burdening the people with Oil Bonds which is why cut in oil and diesel prices is a strict no at this point of time amid the nationwide protest on spike in price.
Addressing the media, she said, “There will be no cut in excise duty on fuel as of now. Exchequer is burdened by interest payments being made for oil bonds floated by UPA Govt. The government has paid over Rs 62,000 crore in interest in the last 5 years on oil bonds itself.”
Further blaming the previous government, she said as quoted by ANI, “The UPA government had reduced fuel prices by issuing Oil Bonds of Rs 1.44 lakh crore. I can’t go by the trickery that was played by previous regime. Due to Oil Bonds, the burden has come to us, that’s why we are unable to reduce prices of petrol and diesel.”
“We’ll still have to pay interest of Rs Rs 37,000 crore by 2026. Despite interest payments, principal outstanding of over Rs 1.30 lakh crore is still pending. If I didn’t have the burden of Oil Bonds, I would have been in a position to reduce excise duty on fuel,” added the FM.