Finance

Can reduce petrol price by ₹25 a litre: Chidambaram

Can reduce petrol price by ₹25 a litre: Chidambaram

"Central government saves Rs 15 on every litre of petrol due to fall in crude oil prices".

India has the highest retail prices of petrol and diesel among South Asian nations as taxes account for about 40-50 percent of pump prices.

The prices of both petrol and diesel have witnessed a hike of over Rs 2 per litre over the past 10 days, both touching fresh record highs every passing day. Talks are going on with finance ministers of all states, Fadnavis said, adding, "Once petrol and diesel are brought under the ambit of GST, its threshold will change, because right now, taxes upon taxes are levied which increases rates".

Fumed over the price hike, locals in Bhopal asked the government to reduce the prices.

In Chennai, price of the fuel breached the Rs 80 a litre mark on Wednesday and was priced at Rs 80.11 per litre, according to data on the website of Indian Oil Corp. Prices of diesel and petrol in India have surged to a record high.

Fuel prices record 13 revisions since last November

The Opposition hit out at the government for the steep hike in recent days and alleged that oil companies were forced to keep the prices "artificially static" for the Karnataka elections and are now recovering from the consumers.

The government had raised excise duty nine times between November 2014 and January 2016 to shore up finances as global oil prices fell, but then cut the tax just once in October past year by Rs 2 a litre. The primary reason behind the exorbitant prices being the spike in crude oil rates that add up with extremely high taxes and excise duties. The Indian basket crude oil price was $77.04 a barrel on Tuesday.

A shrinking supply of crude oil from Venezuela has also contributed to a similar effect of a rise in price. "The Prime Minister is taking the matter seriously", the MoS Finance said. "We believe all petroleum products should come under the goods and services tax (GST)", said Sanjiv Singh, chairman of IOC. Currently, petrol is taxed at a little over 100 percent and for diesel, the taxes come at around 66.48 percent.

This brings us to the crucial question about the efficacy of the policy of fuel price deregulation, introduced by the Manmohan Singh government in June 2010, which has been repeatedly used by the Modi government for refusing to intervene and order excise duty cuts in prices of petrol and diesel. Petrol/diesel prices affect the common man directly. Failure to do so will severely dent Modi's Mission 2019.


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