We are still paying UPA-era oil bonds interest, so unable to cut excise duty on fuel, confirms Nirmala Sitharaman

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New Delhi, August 16: Amidst the skyrocketing prices of petrol and diesel, Finance Minister (FM) Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday denied the reduction in excise duty on it for the time being.

She said that his hands are tied because of the interest being paid in lieu of the huge subsidy given on both the fuels in the past.

The FM said that the previous UPA government had brought oil bonds, due to which the government has to pay its interest. The government has so far paid more than Rs 70,195.72 crore as interest on oil bonds in the last 5 years. The government has to pay interest of Rs 37,000 crore by 2026, while the principal amount of over Rs 1.30 lakh crore is still outstanding despite interest payments.

Sitharaman said that the UPA government had cut oil prices by issuing oil bonds worth Rs 1.44 lakh crore. But, I cannot do tricks like the previous government.

She said that due to oil bonds, our government has been burdened, due to which we are unable to cut the prices of petrol and diesel. Significantly, in many cities of the country, petrol has crossed Rs 100 per liter, while the price of diesel is around Rs 90 per liter.