New Delhi: The Centre, which is facing political and public fire over high fuel prices in the country, squarely blamed the UPA government for its inability to provide relief through a reduction in central excise levied on fuels.
The government would have easily given relief from high oil prices if it did not had to bear the cost of oil bonds that the previous government had issued to companies, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has said.
“If I did not have the burden to service the oil bonds, I would have been in a position to reduce excise duty on fuel,” Nirmala Sitharaman stated. “Previous government have made our job difficult by issuing oil bonds. Even if I want to do something I am paying through my nose for the oil bonds,” she added.
During a Ministry briefing, Nirmala Sitharaman said that in 2014-15, the Centre paid Rs 10,255 crore as interest payment on oil bonds. Since then for six fiscals, the centre has been servicing an interest payment of Rs 9989.96 crore every year.