Centre, BJP-ruled states cut fuel prices, Congress calls it panic reaction

Centre cuts excise duty on fuel by Rs 1.50 per litre Oil companies to absorb Re 1 per litre
Jaitley lowers petrol, diesel prices by Rs 2.5 per litre

05 October, 2018

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

Immediately after the announcement, and the declaration by the Finance Minister, three states have responded, and reduced the price of petrol and diesel by Rs 2.5, thereby making the overall reduction to Rs 5 per litre.

Sources said the Centre has also urged the State governments to slash taxes on petrol and diesel which will is likely to further reduce the prices by at least Rs 5 per litre. "The government's capacity to provide relief is only when domestic factors are strong", he said.

The reduction followed petrol and diesel prices touching new highs. In Mumbai, petrol rates had breached Rs 90 per litre.

The BJP-government had raised excise duty on petrol by Rs 11.77 a litre and that on diesel by Rs 13.47 a litre in nine instalments between November 2014 and January 2016 to shore up finances as global oil prices fell, but then cut the tax just once in October previous year by Rs 2 a litre.

The 11 states which announced cuts in petrol and diesel prices are Maharshtra, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Assam, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Tripura, and Gujarat.

The national reduction translates to a 3 percent cut in petrol prices, and a 3.3 percent fall in diesel prices in India's capital New Delhi. Maharashtra and Gujarat governments were among the first to announce a matching Rs 2.50 cut.

The state of Karnataka, who earlier slashed fuel prices by Rs 2, will not be announcing any more cuts.

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Yet now that the higher oil prices have combined with a falling rupee after the latest quarterly economic growth figures turned out disappointing, with the deficit widening, India is facing a serious challenge in sustaining its growth while reducing the adverse impact of the latest oil market developments.

The state will do so if the Centre bring the fuel prices down to the level when the Narendra Modi government assumed office in May 2014, Issac told the media here while reacting to Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley's statement in this regard.

Read here: NDA-ruled states cut fuel rates by further Rs 2.50 per litreThe opposition parties however were not impressed.

All four states are BJP ruled.

Central Government has finally chose to stop the arrest of increasing Fuel Prices.

The minister also maintained that Thursday's decision did not represent a re-regulation of fuel prices. Fuel prices are not uniform across the country due to variable state taxes.

Mumbai has the highest Value-Added Tax of 39.12 per cent on petrol, while Telangana levies the highest Value-Added Tax of 26 per cent on diesel. Calling it an election gimmick, the Congress said the BJP will face imminent defeat in the upcoming Assembly elections of five states.

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