New Delhi [India], May 21 (ANI): Noting that it is always "people first" for the BJP-led government, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said that the Centre's decisions, especially the one relating to a significant drop in petrol and diesel prices, will positively impact various sectors, provide relief to citizens and further 'Ease of Living.'The Centre on Saturday announced reduction in excise duty on petrol by Rs 8 per litre and on diesel by Rs 6 per litre in a significant step aimed at providing relief to people. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharmanan made the announcements including on relief in excise duty on petrol and diesel in tweets.
PM Modi also referred to the decision on subsidy this year to gas cylinders under Ujjwala scheme.
"It is always people first for us! Today's decisions, especially the one relating to a significant drop in petrol and diesel prices will positively impact various sectors, provide relief to our citizens and further 'Ease of Living', PM Modi said in a tweet.
"Ujjwala Yojana has helped crores of Indians, especially women. Today's decision on Ujjwala subsidy will greatly ease family budgets," he added.
Sitharaman, who made several other announcements including subsidy for cylinders under Ujjwala scheme, urged states to also reduce VAT on petroleum products to give relief to the common man.
"We are reducing the Central excise duty on Petrol by Rs 8 per litre and on Diesel by Rs 6 per litre. This will reduce the price of petrol by Rs 9.5 per litre and of Diesel by Rs 7 per litre. It will have revenue implication of around Rs 1 lakh crore/year for the government," Sitharam said.
"I wish to exhort all state governments, especially the states where reduction wasn't done during the last round (November 2021), to also implement a similar cut and give relief to the common man," she added.
The minister said that this year the government will give a subsidy of Rs 200 per gas cylinder (upto 12 cylinders) to over nine crore beneficiaries of Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana.
"This will help our mothers and sisters. This will have a revenue implication of around Rs 6100 crore a year," she said.
The minister also referred to Ukraine conflict and said in addition of the fertilizer subsidy of Rs 1.05 lakh crore in the budget, an additional amount of Rs 1.10 lakh crore is being provided to help the farmers.
"Despite rising fertilizer prices globally, we have protected our farmers from such price hikes. In addition to the fertilizer subsidy of Rs 1.05 lakh crore in the budget, an additional amount of Rs 1.10 lakh crore is being provided to further cushion our farmers," she added.
Sitharaman said the Narendra Modi government is devoted to the welfare of the poor.
"We've taken a number of steps to help the poor and middle class. As a result, the average inflation during our tenure has remained lower than during previous governments," she said.
The minister said the government is also reducing the customs duty on raw materials and intermediaries for plastic products where the country's import dependence is high. "This will result in reduction of cost of final products.""Similarly we are calibrating customs duty on raw materials and intermediaries for iron and steel to reduce their prices. Import duty on some raw materials of steel will be reduced. Export duty on some steel products will be levied," she added.
Sitharaman said measures are being taken up to improve the availability of cement and through better logistics to reduce the cost of cement. (ANI)