Government Announces Relief On Fuel Prices By Reducing Excise Duty

Arun Jaitley,Fuel price hike,Finance minister

Thanking Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Fadnavis said the reduction in fuel prices will give a huge relief to citizens. In response, the governments of Maharashtra and Gujarat have also announced a reduction in excise duties.

Taxes on petrol and diesel, which account for more than a third of retail fuel prices, are one of the biggest sources of income for the government, which is seeking to keep the country's budget deficit in check.

Blaming the Centre for the frequent spurt in price of petroleum products, Isaac said it was the Centre that hiked the taxes on petroleum products.

Jammu and Kashmir: Petrol and Diesel prices in Jammu and Kashmir have been slashed by Rs 5 per litre, the state government. He said, the centre has allowed oil companies to raise 10 billion dollars through bonds. Chandigarh has reduced the fuel prices by Rs 1.50. The Centre has cut excise duties only twice in the past 22 months - once in October a year ago when it cut the duty by Rs 2 a litre and now by Rs 1.50.

"And reducing oil prices, if you say is good politics, so be it", said Mr Jaitley.

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The move to ask state-owned oil firms, who were given pricing freedom, to absorb Re 1 per litre was seen as a return of government control over pricing, leading to stocks of Indian Oil Corp (IOC), Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd (BPCL) and Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd (HPCL) tanking.

Fuel prices cut by ₹2.50 ($.034) a litre in several states across India. Brent crossed $86 per barrel and this is the highest in the last four years.

The Chandigarh administration has reduced the value added tax (VAT) on petrol and diesel, an official release said in Chandigarh.

The cuts will cost the Centre Rs 10,500 crore in tax revenues, he said.

Nationalist Congress Party's Leader of Opposition in the Legislative Council Dhananjay Munde criticized the belated decision and reiterated that petrol-diesel must be brought under GST for providing genuine relief to the people. Any further revenue loss, however, could widen the fiscal deficit.

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