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Govt imposes cess on petrol, diesel, gold, other items to fund agri infra development

In a bid to boost agriculture infrastructure, the government on Monday announced a cess on certain items, including petrol, diesel, gold and some imported agricultural products.

While proposing the Agriculture Infrastructure and Development Cess (AIDC), Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman also said that care has been taken not to put additional burden on consumers on most items.

There is an immediate need to improve agricultural infrastructure so that we produce more, while also conserving and processing agricultural output efficiently, the minister said in her Budget Speech in Lok Sabha.

“This will ensure enhanced remuneration for our farmers. To earmark resources for this purpose, I propose an Agriculture Infrastructure and Development Cess (AIDC) on a small number of items.

“However, while applying this cess, we have taken care not to put additional burden on consumers on most items,” the minister said.

As per the Budget documents, AIDC of Rs 2.5 per litre has been imposed on petrol and Rs 4 per litre on diesel.

“Overall, there would be no additional burden on the consumer,” the minister said.

Consequent to the imposition of AIDC on petrol and diesel, the Basic Excise Duty (BED) and Special Additional Excise Duty (SAED) rates have been reduced on them so that overall consumer does not bear any additional burden.

Consequently, unbranded petrol and diesel will attract basic excise duty of Rs 1.4, and Rs 1.8 per litre, respectively. The SAED 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 cess on import of ‘gold and silver’ will be 2.5 per cent, alcoholic beverages (100 per cent), crude palm oil (17.5 per cent), apples (35 per cent), ‘coal, lignite and peat’ (1.5 per cent), fertilizers, including urea (5 per cent), and cotton (5 per cent).