Petrol and diesel prices reached a new record level on Friday after oil marketing companies (OMCs) hiked fuel rates by around 50 paise per litre -- the steepest increase in rates since daily price revision came into effect over 14 months back -- across four metros cities. According to price notification of state-owned fuel retailers, petrol is selling at a price of Rs. 79.99 per litre in Delhi. A litre of petrol is retailing at Rs. 87.39 in Mumbai, Rs. 83.13 in Chennai and Rs. 82.88 in Kolkata. Diesel can be purchased today at a price of Rs. 72.07 per litre in Delhi.
Diesel is vending at Rs 76.51 per litre in Mumbai, Rs. 76.17 per litre in Chennai and Rs. 74.92 per litre in Kolkata. Except for a halt on September 5, fuel prices have been on fire since mid-August, rising almost every day due to a combination of a drop in rupee value and rise in crude oil rates.
Fuel price hike in the country is due to international factors and it has now become essential to bring petrol and diesel under the purview of GST, Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said Friday.
The Centre currently levies a total of Rs. 19.48 per litre of excise duty on petrol and Rs. 15.33 per litre on diesel. On top of this, states levy Value Added Tax (VAT) - the lowest being in Andaman and Nicobar Islands where a 6 per cent sales tax is charged on both the fuel. Mumbai has the highest VAT of 39.12 per cent on petrol, while Telangana levies the highest VAT of 26 per cent on diesel. Delhi charges a VAT of 27 per cent on petrol and 17.24 per cent on diesel. The government will not cut excise duty on petrol and diesel to cushion spiralling prices, as it has limited fiscal space available to take any dent in revenue collections.
According to Press Trust of India (PTI) report, opposition parties will organise nationwide strikes and protests next on September 10 over record-high fuel prices.
Globally, oil prices were stable on Friday, as the market balanced a fall in US crude inventories to the lowest levels since 2015, with Sino-American trade tensions and economic weakness from emerging markets. (With agencies inputs)