Published: Sun, September 09, 2018
Markets | By Otis Pena

Petrol, diesel prices scale new highs

Petrol, diesel prices scale new highs

The fuel prices are likely to go up further as the rupee hit yet another all-time low of ₹ 72.12 against the US dollar on Thursday, while price of Brent oil was still hovering over $77 a barrel. Prices have been on fire since mid-August, rising nearly every day due to a combination of a drop in rupee value and rise in crude oil rates.

In Kolkata, the price of petrol has been increased to ₹ 83.39 per litre while the diesel price has gone up to ₹ 75.46 per litre.

The costliest petrol being sold in India was in Mumbai, where it was priced at Rs 87.77 per litre.

Nationwide strikes have been announced by the opposition parties across the country next week over record-high fuel prices which they blame on high taxes imposed by the government.

The prices of both petrol and diesel, have been at their record high levels for around a week now.

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"The way the prices are increasing with each passing day, it seems that it would cross Rs. 100 per litre". The spike in prices has renewed calls for cut in excise duty but Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has remained non-committal, saying global oil prices are volatile and have not shown any linear movement.

This is the biggest increase in rates in any fortnight since the daily price revision was introduced in mid-June past year. These are once again the highest ever fuel prices for the two cities. On Tuesday, former Finance Minister P Chidambaram had tweeted: "Relentless rise in prices of petrol and diesel is not inevitable". Because the price is built up by excessive taxes on petrol and diesel. "If taxes are cut, prices will decline significantly".

The Centre now levies a total of Rs 19.48 per litre of excise duty on petrol and Rs 15.33 per litre on diesel.

Higher prices of diesel, the fuel used in trucks, also threaten to push up inflation, which could in turn force the central bank to raise interest rates. Delhi charges a Value-Added Tax of 27% on petrol and 17.24% on diesel while Mumbai has a maximum Value-Added Tax of % on petrol.

This led to its excise collections from petro goods more than doubling in the last four years - from ₹99,184 crore in 2014-15 to ₹2,29,019 crore in 2017-18.

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