Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman introduced her Union Budget 2021-22 on Monday with lots of surprises, one of them being the proposed Agricultural Infrastructure and Development CESS on several products.
The budget 2021 has proposed a farm cess of Rs 2.5 per litre on petrol and Rs 4 on diesel which could have been a major blow to the consumers, considering the petrol prices are already at a record high. However, this additional cess on petrol and diesel won’t be affecting the consumer price due to the reduction of excise duties.
ANI quoted the Finance Minister as saying, “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.”
Agricultural cess has been applied on several other goods including 2.5% on gold and silver bars, 17.5% on crude palm oil, 20% on crude soybean and sunflower oil, 35% on apples and 40% on peas. However, the prices of gold and silver are set to get cheaper. This will be applicable from February 2.
100% agri cess has been applied to alcohol as well, but it won’t raise the overall price due to the reduction of basic customs duty on alcohol from 150% to 50%.
Addressing the agricultural cess on various products, Nirmala Sitharaman said, “Consequent to imposition of Agriculture Infrastructure and Development Cess (AIDC) on petrol and diesel, 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.”