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Bharat Bandh Live: Andhra Pradesh cuts VAT on petrol and diesel by Rs 2

Twenty-one Opposition parties led by the Congress are holding a nation-wide 'Bharat Bandh' today to protest against skyrocketing fuel prices. The normal life was thrown out of gear as protestors blocked roads and highways.

twitter-logo BusinessToday.In   New Delhi     Last Updated: September 10, 2018  | 16:38 IST
Bharat Bandh Live: Andhra Pradesh cuts VAT on petrol and diesel by Rs 2
Photo: ANI

Twenty-one Opposition parties led by the Congress are holding a nation-wide 'Bharat Bandh' today to protest against skyrocketing fuel prices. The normal life was thrown out of gear as protestors blocked roads and highways at many places across the country. The nation-wide shut down also saw the participation of a some industry bodies and traders' associations.

Petrol and diesel prices scaled to an all-time high on Monday as the prices of the two fuels were jacked up by another 23 paise and 22 paise per litre, respectively. Congress has demanded that petrol and diesel be brought under the ambit of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), which would push down fuel prices by about Rs 15-18.   

The petrol price in Delhi has now shot up to Rs 80.73 per litre while diesel, too, touched a high historic high of Rs 72.83 a litre as oil prices in the international market continued to rise amid weakening rupee against the US dollar. Petrol in Mumbai scaled to Rs 88.12, up 23 paise, while diesel was priced at Rs 77.32, up 23 paise. The price of petrol touched Rs 89.97 per litre in Parbhani, Maharashtra, the highest in India.

The Centre currently levies excise duty of Rs 19.48 per litre of petrol and Rs 15.33 per litre on diesel whereas VAT varies from state to state. As the protest against rising fuel prices intensified, BJP chief Amit Shah met petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan in New Delhi. 

Bandh supporters also blocked railway tracks in many parts. A number of long-distance trains were stopped at Patna, Gaya, Bhagalpur and Muzaffarpur.

The Congress party's protest March against the fuel price started from Rajghat at 8 am today. Rahul Gandhi, who is back from Kailash Mansarovar Yatra, is leading the protest. Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh also criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government for failing to rein in fuel prices and inflation.

Read all the latest updates on BusinessToday.In's live blog on fuel price hike.

4:26 pm: There is no relief expected in near term as government wants rupee to stabilise. "Cutting excise tax is likely to cut development," government sources told India Today.

4:20 pm: Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu has announced a reduction in petrol and diesel price by Rs 2 each. The new rates of petrol and diesel will come into effect from tomorrow morning.

3.32pm: BJP President Amit Shah meets Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan in New Delhi over the rising fuel prices.

3.28pm: Some school buses were reportedly attacked by protesters in Pune. BJP MP Anil Shirole took to Twitter to attack the Opposition and said the incident shows "pathetic desperation of your leaders".

3.05pm: Shops shut, empty roads in Mumbai.

3.02pm: Congress workers vandalise a petrol pump in Ujjain.

2.53pm: Narendra Modi used to roam the country and say, the prices of fuel are rising. Today he is the Prime Minister and says nothing: Congress President.

12.18pm: Modiji said that what didn't happen in 70 years, we will do in 4 years. Wherever he goes, he just goes to sow division: Congress President Rahul Gandhi.

12.13pm: Even today when the Opposition has called for a 'bandh', the government has increased fuel price in some places, says Akhilesh Yadav.

10.53am: People paying for Rs 4343 crore spent on these (PM Modi's) 'farzi' (fake) ads, says CPI (M) leader Sitaram Yechuri.

10.48am: MNS workers taken into custody. Congress leader Sanjay Nirupam also arrested in Mumbai.

10.32am: Former PM Manmohan Singh says the government has crossed every limit, and "we will soon get a chance to change this government". "Everybody is worried, including farmers and youngsters. The government has failed to fulfill all the promises it made to the people of the India. We ask all the stakeholders to unite against the government, and it is only possible if we forget our small issues and the government's failures to the people."

10.16am: The rupee slumped to a fresh record low of 72.18 by falling 45 paise against the US dollar on strong demand for the US currency from importers as the greenback strengthened against other currencies overseas on upbeat jobs data. The sinking value of rupee will have a major impact on oil prices.

10.05am: Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje announced a four-per cent reduction in value-added tax (VAT) on petrol and diesel on Sunday, which will reduce their prices by Rs 2.5 per litre in the state. The decision will cost the exchequer Rs 2,000 crore and will provide the people a relief of Rs 2.5 per litre on petrol and diesel.

10.04am: The relaxation given by the Rajasthan government is mere showoff, says Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi.

10.03am: The Congress party says the Modi government has looted Rs 11-lakh crore from the people of India in the past four years.

9.40am: AAP supports the Congress-led Bharat Bandh. AAP leader Sanjay Singh along with other AAP leaders visits Rajghat to protest against the deteriorating rupee value and fuel price hike.

9.21am: There is a strong discontent against the Centre government over its failure to manage the economy, CPI leader D Raja tells India Today.

9.19am: Rahul Gandhi pays his respects at Rajghat before joining protests.

9.17am: Protesters in Gujarat's Bharuch burn tyres and stop buses.

9.05am: The runaway prices of fuel and the free fall in the value of the Rupee shows that the Modi Govt has completely failed in managing the economy, says the Congress party. 

9.03am: Jan Adhikar Party Loktantrik workers block railway tracks in Patna.

8.50am: Congress President Rahul Gandhi joins Bharat Bandh protest against the fuel price hike.

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