"All Chief Ministers On Test Now," Says Arun Jaitley, Cutting Fuel Price

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Fuel price rise: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has announced cut in petrol and diesel excise duty


New Delhi: 

Highlights

  1. Skyrocketing fuel prices slashed by Rs. 2.50 a litre
  2. Oil duty cut of Rs. 1.50 and Re 1 drop by marketing companies announced
  3. Gujarat, Maharashtra and Tripura, have already announced price cuts

Union minister Arun Jaitley today slashed skyrocketing fuel prices by Rs 2.50 a litre and asked the state governments to match it to make a real difference to the consumers. In what was seen as a political challenge to the states ruled by opposition parties, the minister said while he would send a written appeal to the states, the decision would be theirs and the government will not interfere.

"This will be a test for all state governments, especially leaders who were only offering lip service earlier," Mr Jaitley pointedly remarked.

As fuel prices started spiraling earlier this year, opposition leaders have relentlessly criticized the government for failing to check it. Many demanded that instead of multiple taxes, petrol and diesel be brought under the ambit of the government's flagship Goods and Services Tax or GST.  

As the prices started a steep climb again in September after a brief period of stabilization, more than 20 opposition parties lent support to a nationwide strike led by the Congress.

Announcing an oil duty cut of Rs. 1.50 and another Re 1 drop by oil marketing companies today, Mr Jaitley appealed to the states to reduce value-added tax or VAT by Rs. 2.50 so the total benefit to citizens is at least Rs. 5.

"I am sure the states will also start delivering immediately," the minister added.

Three BJP-ruled states, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Tripura, have already announced price cuts.

Thanking the Finance Minister, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis tweeted: "Maharashtra Government also decided to give additional relief of ₹2.5/litre on Petrol to give total benefit of ₹5/litre in the State of Maharashtra."

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