Published: Thu, October 04, 2018
Markets | By Noel Gibbs

Petrol, diesel cheaper by Rs 5 in Maharashtra and Gujarat

Petrol, diesel cheaper by Rs 5 in Maharashtra and Gujarat

Meant to finally offer relief to India's citizens, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has announced that prices of petrol and diesel have been cut by Rs 2.50 per litre.

While a cut in excise duty that the central government levies will impact fiscal deficit, states like Bihar, Kerala, and Punjab are not in a position to cut sales tax (or VAT), experts believe.

The prices of petrol and diesel will become cheaper immediately by Rs 2.50 per litre, with the Modi government on Thursday announcing a small cut in central taxes on fuel.

Soon after the announcement, the NDA-led governments in Gujarat, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand followed the Centre's footsteps announcing a cut of Rs 2.50 per litre in fuel prices.

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In a couple of hours, several BJP-ruled states also announced a matching Rs 2.50 cut, taking the total reduction to Rs 5. "The central and state government are working together to give more and more relief to the people", he told ANI.

"Reciprocating positively to FM's announcement, the Govt Of Gujarat has also made a decision to reduce Rs 2.50 on both petrol & diesel".

While the decisions by the BJP-ruled states was expected, there was also a near immediate refusal by non-BJP states to cut fuel rates.

He also noted that the oil marketing companies are fully competent to deal with the decision and the government was not going back on fuel price deregulation.

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"As you know, brent oil has crossed $86 a barrel, the higher it has been in the last four years", Mr. Jaitley said at a press conference. As on October 4, petrol prices stood at Rs 91.34 per litre in Mumbai. In Delhi, where the fuel prices are the lowest among all metros and most of the state capitals, petrol is now sold at Rs 84 per litre and diesel at Rs 75.45.

In India, nearly half of the price of retail fuel is due to taxes.

Some states - Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal and Karnataka - had earlier slashed Value-Added Tax to pass on the benefits to people, but most other states have not taken any action so far.

"This is perfectly good economics. we want consumers to spend money on other items do it without impacting the fiscal deficit is surely good economics", he announced after an inter-ministerial discussion with petroleum ministry. On OMCs absorbing Re 1, he said they would adjust it over present and future prices.

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