Some States Don’t Want Fuel to Come Under GST: Gadkari

Union road transport and high ways minister Nitin Gadkari on Wednesday said some states were resisting the proposal to bring fuel under the goods and services tax even though the Centre was ready to support the idea.

“The Centre has made this proposal,” Gadkari said while virtually addressing the Times Now Summit 2021. “Some states are still resisting it in the GST Council. Our finance minister is working on it and if all states agree, we will also support.”

Gadkari said bringing fuel and gas under GST will result in reduction in overall rates while the revenue will go up and states will also benefit. He, however, did not name the states resisting the proposal.

Speaking about the high fuel prices in the country, the minister said the Centre had taken a positive initiative by lowering the excise duty on petrol and diesel. “Following this great initiative by the Centre, even states will lower the duty soon,” he hoped.

Gadkari said the cost of electric vehicles will match gasoline-run vehicles in two years as the government makes an all-round effort to reduce dependence on imported fuel by moving to ethanol, electric and green hydrogen to power its vehicles.

India imports 80% of its gas and petrol requirement amounting to Rs.8 lakh crores and the government expects it go up to Rs 25 lakh crores in five years.

“We are adopting ethanol, moving towards flex engines and extensively working on electric vehicles,” he said, adding that in two years’ time, EVs will become affordable.

This, he said, will reduce pollution, lower our fuel import and a lot of people will get Jobs. Gadkari said the government aims to make India’s automobile industry worth Rs. 15 lakh crores as against Rs. 7.5 lakh crores now.

Elaborating on the pace of road construction in India at a record 38 km a day, Gadkari said his aim is to develop European and US standard world-class infrastructure in India in the next two years.

“The Mumbai Expressway will be ready by December 2023 and with it several other green expressways will be developed,” he said. “This will match European and us standards and will be part of the bigger plan to connect the whole of India, from Kashmir to Kanyakumari, by world-class high ways.”

Gadkari said the infrastructure development will continue at a significant pace, but the government will ensure a balanced development.

“Ethics, economy, ecology and environment are all important. We should not object to the idea of development but maintain balance between growth and development while addressing the environmental concerns,” he said.

Gadkari said India has a huge development potential with highest availability of young and talented manpower. “Development of economic growth as it will increase exports, lead to higher industrial output and, most importantly, create more jobs,” he said.

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