Economy

Cut in petrol, diesel prices shows government's sensitiveness: Shah

Cut in petrol, diesel prices shows government's sensitiveness: Shah

The move was made after consultation with local oil companies, which agreed to reduce prices by US$0.034 (2.5 rupees) per liter of gasoline and diesel, of which they will absorb US$0.014 (1 rupee) per liter of fuel, and the government will shoulder the rest by cutting excise duties on fuels.

Kerala finance minister TM Thomas Issac said the Centre has reduced its tax on petrol by Rs 1.50 per litre after hiking it by Rs 9. Notably, central and state taxes and levies amount to more than the cost it takes to manufacture motor fuel.

In New Delhi, petrol prices rose by 15 paise to Rs 84 a litre while diesel prices increased by 20 paise to Rs 75.45 per litre. This has brought down the prices of petrol and diesel by Rs 2.5 per litre.

Speaking on the reason for price cut, the Finance Minister said that there has been a significant impact of higher interest rates in the USA and crude oil prices on rising fuel prices in the country.

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Last month, the governments of Karnataka, West Bengal, Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh had cut taxes on petrol and diesel. Maharashtra and Gujarat governments were among the first to announce a matching Rs 2.50 cut.

India stopped controlling petrol prices in 2010 and diesel prices in 2014, linking them to global crude markets in a bid to ease pressure on government finances and improve the earnings of oil refiners.

It is only the worldwide factors, primarily rising prices of crude and domestic policy and other measures like the interest rate hike by the U.S., which have affected India, Jaitley said, adding India's domestic indicators are strong and stable. He added that the last time that the Centre asked states to provide relief to the common man "only BJP or NDA allies-led states" did that.

Nearly half of the fuel price is made up of taxes. The central government dropped the central excise duty on fuel by Rs 1.50 a litre and asked oil companies to absorb Rs 1/litre.

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Within minutes, however, the Congress attacked the government for a "meager" reduction in excise duty on petrol and diesel.

Maharashtra charges the highest sales tax and VAT on petrol at 39.12 per cent. However, the state did not reduce diesel rates.

The TRS government in Telangana will be under pressure now to follow suit as not reducing Value-Added Tax after a central reduction in excise duty would lead opposition parties in the state to blame the state government during assembly election campaign.

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