About 77% Indians want the government to bring petrol and diesel under the GST system, says a survey conducted by LocalCircles. Majority of the households want petrol and diesel to be moved under the GST as it will immediately have a positive impact on the cost of living.
The rising prices of petrol in India, hovering between Rs 100-110 per litre in most cities and that of diesel between Rs 90-100 per litre, for almost 12 months now has had an adverse impact on how citizens commute, how much essentials and other goods cost, and how people draw up their personal finances, at a time when Indian households are recovering from the shock of a brutal second COVID wave.
In a LocalCircles survey conducted in first half of 2021, 51% households said they have cut spending to cope with high petrol and diesel prices; 21% had even cut essential spending, and were feeling the pinch strongly while 14% expressed they were even dipping into savings to pay for it. One of the demands the citizens have raised through LocalCircles is for the government to move petrol and diesel under GST. However, many states have been opposing such a move. Currently, the five fuels are subjected to central excise, cess and state Value Added Tax bringing in significant portion of the total state revenues. Similarly, the Central Government hasn’t been pushing for this change because of a sizable loss to central excise duty collections.
In surveys conducted earlier in the year, LocalCircles had tried to determine how the citizens were coping with the price hikes. 3% said they have some extra savings because of lower discretionary spending in the last 12 months. 1% have some reserve funds due to extra earnings in the last 12 months; 14% are using savings to pay for it; 16% are cutting discretionary spending; and 21% said cutting spending on essentials. There were also 43% of citizens saying their monthly petrol or diesel bill is lower due to limited commute or work from home etc. and 2% said the monthly bill is zero due to no commute or work from home.