Petrol in Delhi Crosses Rs 80 Mark, Oppn Unites for Bharat Bandh

Petrol in Delhi Crosses Rs 80 Mark, Oppn Unites for Bharat Bandh

Opposition parties led by Congress president Rahul Gandhi started a march from Rajghat to Ramlila Maidan here to protest against the rising prices of petrol and diesel. Nearly half of the retail selling price of petrol and diesel is made up of central and state taxes. The percentage increase was 20.5. This increased to Rs 16.85 per litre on September 3. According to petroleum dealers in the State, compared to Friday's price, petrol on Saturday cost 41 paise more while diesel price rose 48 paise a litre.

Similarly, it has also shared the increase in diesel prices and the percentage hike in 2004, 2009, 2014 and 2018 respectively.

Amid nationwide strike against the spiralling fuel prices, petrol and diesel rates were hiked again on Monday in metro cities across India. The steep rise in crude prices and a falling rupee has impacted consumers, who have to shell out excess amounts for fuel. The increase pushed the petrol price in Delhi to Rs 80.50 per litre.

Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Sunday said that India as a stable economy should avoid any knee-jerk reaction to volatile crude oil prices, indicating no cut in taxes on fuel despite petrol and diesel prices breaching record levels in the national capital.

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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. Since mid-August, petrol price has risen by Rs 3.24 a litre and diesel by Rs 3.74 per litre as rupee hit record low against the United States dollar, making imports costlier. "If taxes are cut, prices will decline significantly". Instead, more states are expected to reduce VAT, which will lower prices without impacting the Centre's tax collection.

Rajasthan chief minister Vasundhara Raje on Sunday announced a 4% reduction in Value-Added Tax on petrol and diesel, which will reduce prices by ₹2.5 per litre. Till May 31, when the LDF government effected a slight cut in the sales tax on petrol and diesel, Kerala's was the sixth highest sales tax levy on both petrol and diesel.

As Andhra Pradesh joined Rajasthan in reducing VAT on petrol and diesel, the Centre on Monday seemed to be holding out against a cut in taxes amid rising pressure, with officials indicating that the government did not want its welfare schemes to suffer for want of revenue.

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