New Delhi: Fuel prices continued to rise on Tuesday as well, reported ANI. In Delhi, petrol price reached Rs 80.87/litre and diesel was at Rs 72.97/litre; both registering an increase by Rs 0.14/litre from Monday. In Mumbai, petrol is priced at Rs 88.26/litre, showing an increase of Rs 0.14/litre while diesel price touched Rs 77.47/litre which is an increase of Rs 0.15/litre. Meanwhile, even as the Congress-led Opposition held protests across the country on rising fuel prices, the Government has spelt it out that it has no plans to reduce taxes on petrol or diesel as it couldn’t afford a revenue loss from the move.
A government official told PTI that if the Centre cuts excise duty on petrol and diesel, it will impact the fiscal deficit. On the other hand, states like Bihar, Kerala and Punjab were not in a position to cut sales tax (or VAT). During the protest yesterday, Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad had reiterated the Centre’s stand that the issue of the spike in price was not under the Government’s control, attributing the issue to global factors. Oil producing nations, OPEC, have been restricting their exports, there is an economic crisis in Venezuela, the US has reimposed sanctions on Iran and it is yet to fully realise its shale gas production, said Prasad in a press conference. (Also read: PM Modi Doesn’t Address Issues Important to Youth, Says Rahul)
Slamming the violence during Bharat Bandh, Prasad had said, “Everyone has a right to protest but what is happening today? Petrol pumps and buses being set ablaze, putting to risk lives. A child died after an ambulance was stuck in the protests in Bihar’s Jehanabad. Who is responsible?” Meanwhile, former J-K chief minister Farooq Abdullah had slammed the current dispensation and said the ones who had been protesting in 2012 over rising petrol and diesel prices were in power now. “Why was there a Bharat Bandh in the first place? If you listen to the 2012 speeches of those in power today, they were shouting about petrol and diesel prices. Today, the prices are surpassing prices of that time, Rupee has weakened against Dollar. We are in trouble,” Abdullah said, news agency ANI reported.