Petrol prices across the four metros have been increased by over Rs 3 per litre in the past 16 days, leading to a political slugfest.
Compared to petrol, the state-owned Oil Companies chose to increase diesel prices at a much lower rate on Tuesday.
The fuel was sold at Rs 78.27 and Rs 81.26 per litre in Delhi and Chennai, up from Rs 78.12 and Rs 81.11 a litre on Sunday. The revised prices came into effect at 6 am today. This, incidentally, happened on a day when the global crude oil price showed a decrease. Whereas, Mumbai and Chennai saw the most hikes - by as much as Rs 3.59 per litre and Rs 3.62 per litre respectively. There was a time when diesel prices were stuck in the range of Rs 50 to Rs 60 per litre, but since the start of 2018, there is no stopping the rate hikes in this crucial product. Addressing the furore over fuel price hike, Shah had said that the government officials were taking the issue of fuel price hike seriously.
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While petrol prices were hiked by 15 paise per litre in Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai and Chennai, diesel prices were raised by 11-12 paise per litre. As the Centre has come under the fire over fuel price hike since the past three weeks, Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan had earlier assured the public that the government will soon take out a solution to tackle this situation. Fuel prices differ from state to state according to the incidence of local sales tax or VAT.
Therefore, from May 14 till today, diesel prices have risen by Rs 3.38 per litre each in New Delhi and Rs 3.23 per litre in Kolkata.
On the other hand, if the Centre cuts the excise by Re 1, the loss of revenue will be to the tune of Rs 10,725 crore for every Re 1 cut in central excise and the amount will become twice if it cuts the excise duty by Rs 2. Simply passing on higher prices to consumers will certainly hurt its prospects in the election next year.
This will push up the deficit of Centre, unlike states, it added.