India Introduces Fuel Relief On Rising Prices At The Pump

Jaitley lowers petrol, diesel prices by Rs 2.5 per litre

After months of torturing the general public with soaring fuel prices, Finance Minister Arun Jaitely on Thursday announced a petty reduction of Rs 2.5 per litre on both diesel and petrol prices across the country.

Soon BJP ruled states Maharashtra, Gujarat, Assam, MP, UP, Tripura, Himachal, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Uttarakhand among others announced Rs 2.5 per litre cut in Value-Added Tax on petrol and diesel prices.

The fuel price cut decision is only the latest in India's government efforts to cushion the blow from rising oil prices.

Taxes on petrol and diesel, which account for more than a third of retail fuel prices, are one of the biggest sources of income for the government, which is seeking to keep the country's budget deficit in check.

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The Centre on Thursday reduced fuel prices by Rs 2.50 per litre with immediate effect.

The finance minister asked state governments to match the move with a similar reduction in sales tax or VAT and it will be a test for those states whose leaders were only tweeting and indulging in lip sympathy.

Speaking on the reason for price cut, the Finance Minister said that there has been a significant impact of higher interest rates in the USA and crude oil prices on rising fuel prices in the country. On Friday, petrol price in Delhi stood at Rs 81.50 per litre, while Diesel was priced at Rs 72.50 per litre.

Immediately after the announcement that Oil Marketing companies will absorb Rs 1 per litre as their contribution to make petrol/diesel cheaper, share prices of Indian Oil, HPCL and BPCL tanked by upto 11% in the share market.

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The price cut would be effective from midnight tonight.

"We are now working out a formula to bring down the diesel prices by at least Rs 4/litre". But the hike in duties had helped the government more than double its excise collections from petro goods from Rs 99,184 crore in 2014-15 to Rs 229,019 crore in 2017-18. Now the OMCs (oil marketing companies) have been asked to absorb only Re 1. Party spokesperson Sambit Patra expressed hope that people would get the Rs-5-per-litre relief at the earliest, PTI reported.

Central Government has finally made a decision to stop the arrest of increasing Fuel Prices.

The Finance Minister said, the prices of crude oil and domestic developments in the U.S. have impacted the economies across the world. Also, the rupee dropped to its lowest ever level of 73.77 against the dollar, resulting in expensive crude imports.

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Petrol was sold at 83.85 rupees a litre, while diesel was sold at 75.25 a litre on October 3, according to state-run retailer Indian Oil Corp's website. Any further revenue loss, however, could widen the fiscal deficit.

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