Petrol Prices Hiked:
Petrol price today hit ₹74.40 a litre — the highest level under the BJP-led government, while diesel rates touched a record high of ₹65.65, renewing calls for a cut in excise duty.
State-owned oil firms, since June last year revising auto fuel prices daily, on Sunday raised petrol and diesel rates by 19 paise per litre each in Delhi.
Petrol in the national capital now costs ₹74.40 a litre, the highest since September 14, 2013, when rates had hit ₹76.06. Diesel price at ₹65.65 is the highest ever.
India has the highest retail prices of petrol and diesel among South Asian nations as taxes account for half of the pump rates.
Mr Arun Jaitley had raised excise duty nine times between November 2014 and January 2016 to shore up finances as global oil prices fell.
Subsequent to that excise duty reduction, the Centre had asked states to also lower VAT but just four of them — Maharashtra, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh reduced rates while others including BJP-ruled ones ignored the call.
The Central government had cut excise duty by ₹2 per litre in October 2017, when petrol price reached ₹70.88 per litre in Delhi and diesel ₹59.14. Because of the reduction in excise duty, diesel prices on October 4, 2017, came down to ₹56.89 per litre and petrol to ₹68.38 per litre.
The government had between November 2014 and January 2016 raised excise duty on petrol and diesel on nine occasions to take away gains arising from plummeting global oil prices.
Duty on petrol rate was hiked by ₹11.77 per litre and that on diesel by 13.47 a litre in the 15 months that helped government’s excise mop up more than double to ₹242,000 crore.
State-owned oil companies — Indian Oil Corporation, Bharat Petroleum Corporation and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation — last year dumped the 15-year old practice of revising rates on the 1st and 16th of every month. Instead, they adopted a daily price revision system to instantly reflect changes in cost.