Indians near border head to Bhutan for cheaper fuel, booze
GUWAHATI: For Indians living near the Bhutan border in Assam, a trip across the border is all it takes to get fuel and liquor at bargain prices. Hundreds of people heading to the Bhutanese town of Samdrup Jongkhar are a daily sight.
A litre of petrol costs around Rs 52 in Bhutan as opposed to Rs 76 in Assam, while diesel costs nearly Rs 20 less. Bhutan-made beer comes for Rs 60 a can, Rs 20 cheaper than the Indian equivalent and premium scotch for less than Rs 2000. The Indian Rupee is equivalent to Bhutanese Ngultrum. Border areas on both sides accept both currencies. There is no immigration barrier either.
Indian Oil Corporation Limited and Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited supply petrol and diesel to Bhutan. After GST was implemented from July 1, all exports to Bhutan from India have become zero rated. But the excise duty on petrol and diesel was still levied and refunded to Bhutan. The exemption of excise duty on fuel imports at source in India resulted in 17% reduction in petrol and 14% cut in diesel prices.
Bhutan’s revenue collection, too, came down but it chose to pass on the benefits to consumers instead of imposing fresh taxes to compensate for the loss. “The volume may be small but nevertheless it is a trade diversion. We will take up the matter with IOCL,” said state additional commissioner of taxes Rakesh Agarwala.
The state government’s decision to dismantle all tax check gates after BJP took over in 2016 has made the tax department ignorant of any kind of evasion. “We cannot haul up any biker or motorist because we neither have a check post nor are we supposed to check anybody after GST,” an official said on condition of anonymity. A fuel dealer in Samdrup Jongkhar said, “Till February, Indians could get unlimited fuel but we came to know that they were selling it illegally in India... We have limited fuel to Rs 500 per person.”
Kyuki Mai Sach Nahi Bolta
Kyuki Mai Sach Nahi-Hyderabad-6 hours ago
Irony is that bhutan gets its fuel from India.. And its selling cheaper than what consumers pay in India... Jai Ho Modi govt ki..
Rajindra Jain-4 hours ago
Price of any product all over India should be same but unfortunately our political class has divided us too in this respect. If Bhutan can pass on tax benefits to its condumers, why not India put fuel under GST?
Gstmd Kc-8 hours ago
It tells how feku is looting Indian public.
Allen-5 hours ago
Shame on Feku for imposing such high taxes.
Vihin-Nihiv-3 hours ago
Instead of Petrol and booze, we need to bring in new qualified and educated PM.