The government slashed windfall profit tax on export of diesel to its lowest of Rs 0.50 per litre and nil on jet fuel (ATF) while the levy on domestically produced crude oil was marginally increased, according to an official order. The levy on crude oil produced by companies such as Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) has hiked to Rs 4,400 per tonne from Rs 4,350 per tonne, the order dated March 3 said. Crude oil pumped out of the ground and from below the seabed is refined and converted into fuels like petrol, diesel and aviation turbine fuel (ATF).
The government has also cut the tax on export of diesel to Rs 0.5 per litre from Rs 2.5, and the same on overseas shipments of ATF was cut to nil from Rs 1.50 a litre. The new tax rates come into effect from March 4, the order said. This is the second reduction in rates in a fortnight. Rates were cut on February 16. The export levy on diesel and ATF is the lowest since the tax was introduced in July last year.
The tax rates are reviewed every fortnight based on average oil prices in the previous two weeks. India first imposed windfall profit taxes on July 1, joining a growing number of nations that tax super normal profits of energy companies. At that time, export duties of Rs 6 per litre ($ 12 per barrel) each were levied on petrol and ATF and Rs 13 a litre (USD 26 a barrel) on diesel. A Rs 23,250 per tonne (USD 40 per barrel) windfall profit tax on domestic crude production was also levied.
The export tax on petrol was scrapped in the very first review. Reliance Industries Ltd, which operates the world's largest single-location oil refinery complex at Jamnagar in Gujarat, and Rosneft-backed Nayara Energy are primary exporters of fuel in the country. The government levies tax on windfall profits made by oil producers on any price they get above a threshold of USD 75 per barrel. The levy on fuel exports is based on cracks or margins that refiners earn on overseas shipments. These margins are primarily a difference between the international oil price realised and the cost.