New Delhi: After remaining unchanged for a day, the spiralling fuel prices witnessed yet another hike on Thursday with the petrol being sold at Rs 81.00 per litre and diesel priced at Rs 73.08 per litre in the national capital. In Mumbai, a litre of petrol is priced at Rs 88.39 per litre and diesel at Rs 77.58 per lire.
The rise of 13 paise in petrol prices and 11 paise in diesel prices comes a day after the prices remain unchanged on Wednesday after 15 days of consecutive hike. Yesterday, the petrol was priced at Rs 80.87 while the diesel was sold at Rs 72.97 in Delhi — the same as it they were priced on Tuesday.
Despite the skyrocketing fuel prices causing a major concern among the common man, the Narendra Modi government has expressed its inability to control the spike, attributing the issue to the strengthening US Dollar and other global factors, including the lack in crude oil production.
Meanwhile, it has also been reported that the Centre has no plans to reduce taxes on petrol and diesel prices in near future as neither the central government nor some states can afford to suffer revenue loss from such a move.
However, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal have announced a deduction in fuel prices by Rs 2.5, 2 and Re 1 respectively.
The spike in prices has renewed calls for cut in excise duty but Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has remained non-committal, saying international oil prices are volatile and have not shown any linear movement.
Almost half of the fuel price is made up of taxes. The Centre levies a total of Rs 19.48 per litre of excise duty on petrol and Rs 15.33 per litre on diesel. On top of this, states levy Value Added Tax (VAT) – the lowest being in Andaman and Nicobar Islands where a 6 per cent sales tax is charged on both the fuel.
Mumbai has the highest VAT of 39.12 per cent on petrol, while Telangana levies the highest VAT of 26 per cent on diesel. Delhi charges a VAT of 27 per cent on petrol and 17.24 per cent on diesel.
Since mid-August, petrol price has risen by Rs 3.92 a litre and diesel by Rs 4.31 per litre.
The Central government had raised excise duty on petrol by Rs 11.77 a litre and that on diesel by 13.47 a litre in nine installments between November 2014 and January 2016 to shore up finances as global oil prices fell, but then cut the tax just once in October last year by Rs 2 a litre.
This led to its excise collections from petro goods more than doubling in last four years – from Rs 99,184 crore in 2014-15 to Rs 2,29,019 crore in 2017-18. States saw their VAT revenue from petro goods rise from Rs 1,37,157 crore in 2014-15 to Rs 1,84,091 crore in 2017-18.