Kerala Govt may get a windfall from fuel cess next fiscal year

Finance Minister KN Balagopal. File Photo: Manorama Online

Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala Government coffers may swell by Rs 930 crore and not Rs 750 crore as was initially estimated on the revenue mobilisation by way of Rs 2 social security cess imposed on every litre of petrol and diesel sold in the state.

The details that Finance Minister K N Balagopal presented in the Legislative Assembly the other day prove that his earlier Budget announcement that Rs 750 crore would be collected through social security cess was incorrect.

"A social security cess of Rs 2 per litre is being imposed on petrol and diesel. Through this, the government expects to collect Rs. 750 crore," the Minister had announced in the 2023-24 Kerala Budget that was presented early last month.

In order to collect Rs 750 crore a year through the fuel cess, 375 crore litres of petrol and diesel would have to be sold in the State a year. But, the Minister’s reply to Roji M John in the Assembly stated that 465 crore litres of fuel was sold in the State in the last financial year. The government would get at least Rs 930 crore a year when Rs 2 per litre is imposed as cess. This is Rs 180 crore more than what the Minister said would be collected.

The Minister’s reply also states that 452 crore litres of fuel had been sold in this financial year from April 2022 to January 2023. According to this, the sale this year may cross 500 crore litres by the end of this month. If the same quantity of sale occurs next year, the government will collect at least Rs 1,100 crore through the cess. If this much of money is collected in the first year of imposing the cess, that would be nearly double the revenue the Minister as per initial estimates announced in the Budget.

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