- COVID-19 pandemic led to lost earnings and job cuts across sectors
- There won't be pressure on consumers as other duties, cess were revised
- The markets reacted positively to today's Union Budget announcements
A component to develop farm infrastructure has been added to the cost of petrol and diesel in the Union Budget presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman today. An agriculture infrastructure and development cess of Rs 2.5 per litre on petrol and Rs 4 per litre on diesel have been added in the budget that was made after months of turmoil in the economy due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which led to lost earnings and job cuts across sectors.
There will be no pressure on consumers as other duties and cess were revised before the new agriculture infrastructure cess was calculated, Ms Sitharaman said.
"Consequent to imposition of Agriculture Infrastructure and Development Cess (AIDC) on petrol and diesel, basic excise duty and special additional excise duty rates have been reduced on them so that overall consumer does not bear any additional burden," Ms Sitharaman said.
"Consequently, unbranded petrol and diesel will attract basic excise duty of Re 1.4, and Re 1.8 per litre, respectively. The special additional excise duty on unbranded petrol and diesel shall be Rs 11 and Rs 8 per litre, respectively. Similar changes have also been made for branded petrol and diesel," the Finance Minister said.
The markets reacted positively to today's Union Budget announcements, with Sensex surging over 2,000 points and Nifty going above 14,200.
Among the key announcements were doubling healthcare spending and lifting caps on foreigners investing in India's vast insurance market to help revive an economy that suffered its deepest recorded slump due to the pandemic.