Bharat Bandh: Petrol, diesel prices continue to breach record levels on Monday

Chandrababu announces cut of Rs 2 in fuel prices

Fuel prices have yet again witnessed a fresh hike, with petrol being sold at a record high rate of Rs. 80.38 per litre in New Delhi, and diesel at Rs 72.51 per litre.

The petrol and diesel prices in the country touched a record high on Monday on the back of a fall in the dollar-rupee and surge in global crude oil rates. In Mumbai, the prices of petrol and diesel on Sunday are Rs 87.89 per litre diesel Rs 77.09 per litre respectively.

"The way the prices are increasing with each passing day, it seems that it would cross Rs. 100 per litre". While petrol costs ₹88.12 a litre, diesel is priced at ₹77.32 a litre, according to the daily price notification issued by OMCs. Two of them, rising price of crude oil and depreciation in the value of the rupee against the USA dollar, are beyond the control of government. A reduction in retail prices can happen only if excise duty is reduced - in which case the Centre and state governments bear the loss, or the oil firms bear it directly.

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On the other hand, the diesel costs Rs 75.36, Rs 76.98 and Rs 76.64 in the cities of Kolkata, Mumbai and Chennai respectively. On Tuesday, former Finance Minister P Chidambaram had tweeted: "Relentless rise in prices of petrol and diesel is not inevitable. Midway change in price of fuel derails the economics of transporters", said Mukesh Dave, executive president of Akhil Gujarat Truck Transport Association. However, prices vary in different parts of the state due to local tax additions. The Centre now levies a total excise duty of Rs 19.48 per litre of petrol and Rs 15.33 per litre on diesel.

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. 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.

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