Petrol, diesel prices scale new highs on rupee woes

Petrol and diesel prices are revised daily by state-run oil firms

The petrol price after breaching the ₹80 mark in Delhi, was increased by 12 paise on Sunday.

"The objective to observe bandhwas not to trouble people, but to fight for their cause as they are living in the most trying times", said Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee President Dinesh Gundu Rao, according to NDTV.

Nonetheless, given the transportation cost, the fuel prices in Kerala are higher than even states where there is a higher sales tax. It also makes it clear that it is only due to the taxes levied by the Centre and the additional value added tax by the states that the fuel is becoming a priced commodity for domestic users.

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Offices, schools and colleges in the national capital opened at regular time despite the ' Bharat Bandh' called by the Congress to protest against the hike in petrol and diesel prices. Delhi's state government was receiving Rs 15.68 per litre as VAT/sales tax on petrol sold on April 1.

Mr. Maken said if petrol and diesel are brought under the goods and services tax (GST), fuel prices could drop by ₹15 to ₹18 per litre.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley remained evasive on the issue of cutting down excise duty to cushion the spiralling petrol and diesel prices, adding that worldwide oil prices are volatile and have not shown any linear movement.

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On September 10, petrol prices hit a fresh record at Rs 88.12 per litre in Mumbai and Rs 80.73 per litre in Delhi.

As Andhra Pradesh joined Rajasthan in reducing VAT on petrol and diesel, the Centre on Monday seemed to be holding out against a cut in taxes amid rising pressure, with officials indicating that the government did not want its welfare schemes to suffer for want of revenue. The tax ratio can be raised not by increasing rates but by bringing evaders and non-filers in tax net.

The Centre now levies a total excise duty of Rs 19.48 per litre of petrol and Rs 15.33 per litre on diesel. This led to its excise collections from petro goods more than doubling in the last four years - from Rs 99,184 crore in 2014-15 to Rs 2,29,019 crore in 2017-18. The extra benefit accrued to states is Rs 3-4 per litre, he said.

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"The government can not disturb fiscal maths by cutting excise duty", he said.

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