New Delhi: After remaining unchanged for a couple of days, petrol and diesel prices in Delhi on Thursday increased a bit at Rs 83 per litre and Rs 74.24 per litre, respectively. That’s a rise of 14 paise and 12 paise respectively. Likewise, in Mumbai, petrol was at Rs 90.35 per litre at a 13 paise rise and diesel was at Rs 78.82 per litre with a 12 paise rise.

As per our pricing mechanism, the domestic fuel prices depend upon the international fuel prices on a 15-day average and the value of the Indian rupee.

While the Opposition has blamed the Centre for the rising fuel prices, the Government has continued to insist that global crude oil prices and other international factors are causing a hike in prices of petroleum products. Recently, the West Bengal government reduced the excise on petrol and diesel by Re 1 per litre each. Then, the Karnataka government also declared that fuel would be cheaper by Rs 2 per litre across the state.

The Maharashtra government is also planning to increase excise duty on Indian-made foreign liquor (IMFL). The government is considering to do so to create some fiscal space for slashing the tax on petrol and diesel. It must be noted that the duty on IMFL has not been reviewed since 2013. “The idea is to increase the excise duty on IMFL, especially on the largely consumed mid-segment liquors, so that government would earn more revenue. Then we can reduce taxes on petrol and diesel and counter the criticism (of soaring fuel prices),” an official told IANS. Valsa Nair-Singh, Principal Secretary of state excise department, said, “The file (proposal to review duty on IMFL) has not come to me yet. I cannot comment on it.”

Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan has reiterated his stand on bringing the fuels under the GST ambit. Recently, he said, “I want petrol and diesel to come under the ambit of GST. The GST Council should take a decision on this.” Shifting the onus of bringing about the change on the state governments, Pradhan said, “The state governments are more powerful than the Centre in GST Council meeting.”