Patna, Jan 18 (Agencies): The Centre should scrap five per cent customs duty on imported crude oil a suggestion which he would place tomorrow at the Finance Ministers' conference in Delhi, Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi said on Tuesday.

"The Centre should consider scrapping the five per cent custom duty on imported crude oil to reduce petroleum prices to provide relief to the common man bearing the brunt of inflation and price rise," Modi told reporters here.

The Centre should also consider imposition of a flat rate of tax on sale of petroleum products doing away with the variable tax rate in place at present, Modi said.

Modi, who also holds the charge of the finance ministry, said that a price stabilization fund should be set up by the Centre to compensate petroleum companies during escalation in crude prices in the international market from time to time.

He also suggested that the Centre should consider setting up a mechanism to keep food and vegetable prices under control.

Referring to Bihar's expectation in the next union budget, Modi said that the cash-strapped state should be accorded a special economic status in order to entitle it to receive grants.

Stating that the NDA government has been demanding a special status for long, he said the Centre should continue with the compensation of Rs 1000 crores in the 12th five-year plan beginning 2012.