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Today’s petrol and diesel prices reached new heights

Burning a hole in the consumer’s wallet, the petrol and diesel prices rises. Here are the latest fuel values.

Petrol price on Sunday hit Rs 74.40 a liter – the highest level under the BJP-led government, while diesel rates touched a record high of Rs 65.65, renewing calls for a cut in excise duty to ease the burden on consumers.

State-owned oil firms, which have been since June last year revising auto fuel prices daily, today raised petrol and diesel rates by 19 paise per liter each in Delhi, according to a price notification.

The hike necessitated due to firming international oil prices, comes on the back of a 13 paisa increase in rates of petrol affected yesterday and a 15 paisa hike in diesel, it said.

Petrol in the national capital now costs Rs 74.40 a liter, the highest since September 14, 2013, when rates had hit Rs 76.06. Diesel price at Rs 65.65 is the highest ever.

Oil Ministry had earlier this year sought a reduction in excise duty on petrol and diesel to cushion the impact arising out of international oil rates but Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in his Budget presented on February 1 made no concessions.

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India has the highest retail prices of petrol and diesel among South Asian nations as taxes account for half of the pump rates.

Jaitley had raised excise duty nine times between November 2014 and January 2016 to shore up finances as global oil prices fell, but then cut the tax just once in October last year by Rs 2 a liter.

Subsequent to that excise duty reduction, the Centre had asked states to also lower VAT but just four of them – Maharashtra, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh reduced rates while others including BJP-ruled ones ignored the call.

The Central government had cut excise duty by Rs 2 per liter in October 2017, when petrol price reached Rs 70.88 per liter in Delhi and diesel Rs. 59.14.

Because of the reduction in excise duty, diesel prices had on October 4, 2017, came down to Rs 56.89 per liter and petrol to Rs 68.38 per liter. However, a global rally in crude prices pushed domestic fuel prices far higher than those levels.

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The October 2017 excise duty cut cost the government Rs. 26,000 crore in annual revenue and about Rs. 13,000 crore during the remaining part of the current fiscal year.

The government had between November 2014 and January 2016 raised excise duty on petrol and diesel on nine occasions to take away gains arising from plummeting global oil prices.

In all, duty on petrol rate was hiked by Rs 11.77 per liter and that on diesel by 13.47 a liter in those 15 months that helped government’s excise mop up more than double to Rs 242,000 crore in 2016-17 from Rs 99,000 crore in 2014-15.

State-owned oil companies – Indian Oil Corporation, Bharat Petroleum Corporation and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation – in June last year dumped the 15-year old practice of revising rates on the 1st and 16th of every month. Instead, they adopted a daily price revision system to instantly reflect changes in cost. Since then prices are revised on a daily basis.


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