The petrol and diesel prices show no sign of cooling off after continuing to remain at the highest level for three days in a row. On Thursday, diesel kept unchanged at Rs 70.20 in Mumbai, while petrol prices remained at the highest level of Rs 82.48, since September 2013.
In Delhi diesel prices are at Rs 65.93 per litre, Rs. 68.63 per litre in Kolkata and Rs 69.56 per litre in Chennai. Petrol prices in Delhi are at Rs 74.63 per litre, in Kolkata petrol prices are at Rs 77.32 per litre and Rs 77.43 per litre in Chennai, as given on the website of Indian Oil Corporation.
In 2013, crude oil touched the highest level of $110 barrel. But after Narendra Modi government came to power oil prices started declining. Recently, however, prices have again started going up and currently it is trading at $75. Experts say crude oil prices can go up further from here as there has been an increase in demand and also sanctions on Iran by the U.S. can squeeze oil supply.
Before June 2017 petrol and diesel prices were revised on a fortnight basis. However, now prices are revised on a daily basis to be in line with international prices.
The government, however, is not considering any cut in the excise duty at this point of time. Finance Secretary Hasmukh Adhia earlier this week said, “Not as of now. Whenever we review it, we will let you know.”
There have, however, been suggestions by the Central Government to state governments to bring petrol and diesel under the ambit of the GST. S B Behera, Odisha’s Finance Minister, while replying to a debate in the Assembly said, “The state government will take a decision whether the petrol and diesel be included under the purview of the GST only after such a proposal is brought in the GST Council headed by Union Finance Minister.”
The excise duty has been increased nine times since the Narendra Modi government came to power. It was just once in October last year that the government cut the tax by Rs 2 per litre.