Government Announces Relief On Fuel Prices By Reducing Excise Duty
05 October, 2018, 04:11 | Author: Melinda Barton
In a major relief for consumers, the government on Thursday reduced excise duty on petrol and diesel by Rs 1.50 per litre and said the oil marketing companies (OMC) will absorb the impact to the tune of Re 1 per litre.
The fuel price cut decision is only the latest in India's government efforts to cushion the blow from rising oil prices. Jaitley also urged state governments to further reduce VAT and other state-level taxes to further drop the price.
"Last time it were only the NDA ruled states, which made the Value-Added Tax reductions after the Rs 2 excise cut by the Centre past year", he said. He also thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley for reducing the rates of petrol and diesel, saying this will give a huge relief to the common man.
In Delhi, where the fuel prices are the lowest among all metros and most state capitals, petrol was being sold at Rs 84 per litre and diesel at Rs 75.45 on Thursday morning.
Global crude prices hit near 4-year highs on Wednesday, and a weak rupee has added to the woes of Indians, who have been hit by record high fuel prices.
"The government's capacity to provide relief is only when domestic factors are strong", he said. But growing public anger over surging fuel prices has caught the attention of the government.
The fuel prices had been going up every day for last few weeks, burning a hole in people's pockets.
"After inflicting a thousand wounds, Modi Government applies band-aid of a marginal cut in the prices of petrol and diesel", Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said.
Justifying the minimal relief in fuel prices, Jaitley said "We have to react to the situation and give relief without impacting the fiscal deficit".
Former finance minister P Chidambaram termed the decision as "tokenism". Soon, several other NDA-ruled states - Chhatisgarh, Tripura, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Assam, Uttarakhand, Goa, Himachal Pradesh and Arunachal Pradesh - followed suit.
Jaitley, however, said asking oil companies to bear a part some burden is not going back on deregulation.
"When the prices go up the Centre receives a fixed amount per litre, whereas the revenue of states go up".
Brent, the benchmark for more than half the world's oil, has touched Dollars 86 per barrel mark, the highest in four years. The total impact of the excise duty cut on us for the entire fiscal would have been Rs 21,000 crore.
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