9 BJP-ruled states cut petrol, diesel rates further
Several states have announced additional relaxations for prices in petrol and diesel shortly after the Centre cut excise duty on fuel. The states include Assam, Goa, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Manipur, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh, and Uttarakhand. They are all ruled by the Bharatiya Janata Party. The Centre Wednesday announced an excise duty cut of Rs. 5 and Rs. 10 on petrol and diesel, respectively.
Why does this story matter?
The relaxation in petrol and diesel rates comes at a time when fuel prices have hit all-time highs. The BJP-ruled Centre has drawn immense criticism as prices have soared over Rs. 100 per liter in many cities. The Centre had hiked excise duty over the past year to benefit from falling international oil rates. The decision comes on the day of Diwali.
Which states are offering additional cuts?
Assam, Goa, Karnataka, Manipur, and Tripura have slashed petrol and diesel prices by Rs. 7/L. Uttarakhand has announced a Rs. 2/L cut on Value Added Tax (VAT) on petrol. Himachal Pradesh will also reduce VAT on petrol and diesel. Uttar Pradesh and Haryana have slashed the prices of petrol and diesel by Rs. 12/L. VAT rates differ across states leading to variable fuel prices.
How much does fuel cost now?
Starting Thursday, petrol will cost Rs. 103.97/L in Delhi, down from Rs. 110.04/L. Diesel rates have reduced from Rs. 98.42/L to Rs. 86.67/L. In Mumbai, petrol and diesel now cost Rs. 109.98/L and Rs. 94.14/L, respectively. In Kolkata, petrol and diesel are retailing at Rs. 104.67/L and Rs. 89.79/L, respectively. In Chennai, petrol and diesel were priced at Rs. 101.40/L and Rs. 91.43/L, respectively.
Centre blames global price hike
On Wednesday, the Union Finance Ministry blamed the fuel price hike on a global upsurge in the rates of crude oil. It said the government had ensured that there was no fuel or energy shortage amid the global crisis. It also attributed the greater relief on diesel excise duty to "hard-working" farmers, who have been protesting against the government over its "anti-farmer policies."