New Delhi: The rise in fuel prices continued unabated on Monday, with the petrol crossing the Rs 82 per litre mark in the national capital and nearing the Rs 90 per litre mark in Mumbai.
Petrol in Delhi, which is cheapest among the four metros due to lower taxes, rose to Rs 82.06 per litre today while in Mumbai it was sold for Rs 89.44 per litre – a hike of Rs 0.15 from Sunday.
Similarly, diesel in Delhi was sold for Rs 73.78 per litre, while a litre in Mumbai cost Rs 78.33 – an increase of 6 paise and 7 paise respectively.
Fuel prices in the country have been going up almost daily since August 1. They fell only once on August 13 and have been on record levels for nearly two weeks now.
Despite the spiralling fuel prices burning a hole in the common man’s pocket, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley remained non-committal on cutting on fuel prices during the recently-concluded two-day review of the economy.
There were expectations that the government may cut excise duty on the two fuels to ease burden on the consumers but it seems it didn’t want to take chance as it stands to lose Rs 14,000 crore in revenue from a Re 1 per litre cut in excise.
It feels that the country cannot afford to have a twin deficit problem — a depreciating rupee and high crude import bill putting pressure on the country’s current account deficit (CAD), and a fiscal slippage.
It has been reported that the Centre may not lower taxes as a Rs 2 per litre reduction would impact the revenue by Rs 28,000 crore to Rs 30,000 crore. Instead, more states are expected to reduce VAT on fuel prices so that the Centre’s tax collection is not affected.
In the recent days, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal have announced deduction in VAT on petrol and diesel prices by Rs 2.5, 2 and Re 1 respectively.
While the Centre seems to be holding out against a cut in taxes on fuels, BJP President Amit Shah on Saturday said that the government will soon come out with a solution on the issue.