While Rajasthan on Sunday announced a 4 per cent cut in VAT on petrol and diesel, Andhra Pradesh Monday said fuel prices will be reduced by Rs 2 each from cut in sales tax. In Mumbai, petrol was sold at Rs 88.21 per litre and diesel at Rs 77.41 per litre on Monday.
The Centre now levies a total excise duty of Rs 19.48 per litre of petrol and Rs 15.33 per litre on diesel. In fact, some of them import petrol-diesel from India.
The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party has termed the hike in petroleum products as a "momentary difficulty" owing to an worldwide crisis.
With the Finance Ministry ruling out any reduction in Central excise duties on petrol and diesel and also indicating that bringing them under Goods and Services Tax (GST) may not be feasible, it is now left to the States to ease the pricing pressure on consumers.
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Fuel rates have been on fire since mid-August, rising nearly every day due to a drop in rupee value and rise in crude oil rates. If the rate of increase in petrol prices doesn't slow down and continues at the same pace, fuel prices could touch Rs 100 in the first half of 2019.
Value-Added Tax paid by consumers on final retail price is the highest for petrol in Mumbai at 39.12 percent and for diesel in Telangana at 26 percent.
Talking about other parts in Maharashtra, in Thane, one-litre petrol cost was Rs 88.29 and diesel Rs 77.49.
The central government had raised excise duty on petrol by Rs 11.77 a litre and that on diesel by Rs 13.47 a litre in nine instalments between November 2014 and January 2016 to shore up finances as global oil prices fell, but then cut the tax just once in October previous year by Rs 2 a litre.
The petitioner also alleged that the oil companies had stopped increasing the prices when the Karnataka election campaign was going on. Here is the case of petrol: from Rs 9.20 a litre it shot up to Rs 19.48 per litre for petrol. The official also said the government has not resorted to cutting development expenditure in order to achieve fiscal deficit target.