Petrol and diesel prices declined for the fifth consecutive day today. After a dip of 10 paise, petrol prices in Delhi decreased to Rs 75.69, while in Mumbai petrol prices dropped by 14 paise to Rs 83.30. In Kolkata and Chennai too, petrol prices dropped by 10 paise to Rs 78.37 and Rs 78.55 paise. Fuel rates had touched record high before witnessing a fall of 1 paisa on May 30. The government and oil companies were brutally made fun of because of the 1-paisa cut. However, fuel prices continued to either dip or remain stagnant from thereon. On Sunday, petrol prices across the country were slashed by 14-17 paise, while diesel fell by 7 paise.
Diesel prices, too, were slashed by 10 paise in Mumbai, 6 paise in Delhi and Kolkata and by 7 paise in Chennai. A litre of diesel in Delhi costs Rs 67.48, Rs 70.03 in Kolkata, Rs 71.66 in Mumbai and Rs 71.22 in Chennai.
These rates will be applicable for the day following which new rates will be applicable from 6 am tomorrow. The decline in the prices of fuel is due to the downward trend of global crude oil prices.
Although prices started declining only after May 30, it was frozen for 19 days between April 24 and May 13 during the Karnataka Elections campaign. According to reports, oil companies are estimated to have lost Rs 500 crore during that period.
People have been debating bring fuel prices under the GST ambit due to high prices. The Centre currently levies a total of Rs 19.48 per litre of excise duty on petrol and Rs 15.33 per litre on diesel. On top of this, states levy Value Added Tax (VAT) - the lowest being in Andaman and Nicobar Islands where a 6% sales tax is charged on both the fuel.
However, a government official said that there's no pure GST on petrol, diesel anywhere in the world and so, it might not be the case in India as well. It is likely to be a combination of GST and VAT, the official said. But before the two fuels are put under GST, the Centre has to decide if it is willing to let go the Rs 20,000 crore input tax credit it currently pockets by keeping petrol, diesel, natural gas, jet fuel and crude oil out of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime that came into force from July 1, 2017, as mentioned by the official.