Nirmala Sitharaman Says Payments In Lieu Of Past Subsidised Fuel Price Blames UPA Govt Rules Out Cut In Excise Duty On Petrol, Diesel

New Delhi: While fuel price continues to rise across the country, the Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has ruled out a cut in excise duty on petrol and diesel to ease rates saying that the payments in lieu of past subsidised fuel price pose limitations.Addressing the media on Monday, Nirmala Sitharaman said that the Modi government is paying for reduction in prices of petroleum products made by the Manmohan Singh-led UPA government due to the interest and principles having to be repaid on oil bonds from that period.ALSO READ | NCP Chief Sharad Pawar Says ‘People Are Being Misled’ On OBC Reservation, Points To 50% Cap On Quota”UPA Govt had reduced fuel prices by issuing Oil Bonds of Rs 1.44 lakh crores. I can’t go by the trickery that was played by previous UPA Govt. Due to Oil Bonds, the burden has come to our Govt, that’s why we are unable to reduce prices of petrol and diesel,” the Union Minister said.Sitharaman said the government has paid over Rs 60,000 crore interest in the last 5 years on these oil bonds and there still was an outstanding of Rs 1.30 lakh crore.Ruling out a cut in excise duty on petrol and diesel, Sitharaman further said there will be no cut in excise duty on fuel as of now as exchequer is burdened by interest payments being made for oil bonds floated by UPA Govt.”The Govt has paid over 70,195.72 crores in interest in the last 5 years on oil bonds itself. We’ll still have to pay interest of Rs 37,000 crores by 2026,” Sitharaman said.She further told reporters that despite interest payments, principal outstanding of over 1.30 lakh crores 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, the minister added.

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