Government mopped up 80% more from fuel cess than expected

2021-02-04 02:18:19

NEW DELHI: The government has mopped up nearly 80% more road and infrastructure cess levied on petrol and diesel compared to what it had estimated for 2020-21. According to the budget documents, the receipts on this account increased to nearly Rs 2.3 lakh crore in the revised estimates compared to the nearly Rs 1.3 lakh crore, which was projected in the budget.
While this increased flow of revenue has pinched vehicle owners, it has come as a big help to the government to increase expenditure in some sectors.
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For example, the entire allocation of Rs 50,000 crore for Jal Jeevan Mission in rural areas for 2021-22 will come from road and infrastructure cess. The government has hiked the allocation by five times for this scheme to ensure tap water connection to every rural household.
Similarly, around 65% of the entire budgetary allocation for the road transport and highways ministry will come from this cess.
Earlier the cess from fuel, known as Central Road Fund, was primarily used for development of highways and rural roads.

But since the government renamed this fund as Central Road and Infrastructure Fund in 2019, it has been earmarking portions of the fund for other infrastructure sectors such as ports, shipyards, inland waterways, airports, railways, urban public transport, energy, water and sanitation, communication infrastructure.

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