State-run Indian Oil Corporation today hiked the prices of petrol and diesel again for the fourth straight day. Petrol price was raised by 15 paise to Rs 76.13 per litre in Delhi. In other metro cities, petrol is available at Rs 83.52 in Mumbai, up by 15 paise; Rs 78.80 in Kolkata, up by 14 paise; and Rs 79.01 in Chennai, up by 16 pasie. According to the IOCL mobile app, the diesel price in the national capital is hiked by 10 paise to Rs 67.86 per litre.
The recent rise in fuel prices have come against the backdrop of rising crude prices internationally and continuous decline of rupee against US dollar.
After a month of hiatus, the three state-owned fuel retailers - Indian Oil Corporation, Bharat Petroleum Corp and Hindustan Petroleum - raised the fuel price for the first time on Thursday. Last month, petroleum prices were cut 14 times after hitting an all-time high of Rs 78.43 a litre for petrol and Rs 69.31 for diesel on May 29. Petrol price dropped by Rs 2 a litre and diesel by Rs 1.46.
The cut was still lower in comparison to Rs 3.8 a litre hike in petrol and Rs 3.38 a litre hike in diesel in the national capital from May 14 to May 29.
Last month's hike in petrol and diesel prices was mostly due to rise in crude oil prices and the high taxes - excise duty and VAT - levied on fuels. The opposition parties and people demanded a cut in taxes. A section of people even called for inclusion of petrol and diesel under the GST, hoping that it would reduce taxes - which is currently close to 50 per cent - by half.
If the government includes fuels under the GST and applies the highest tax slab of 28 per cent, the price of petrol would come down by Rs 26.9 and diesel by Rs 15.4.
Earlier this week, Finance Secretary Hasmukh Adhia said that the GST Council will consider bringing petroleum products under Goods and Services Tax and it could happen in phases. He, however, earlier cautioned that bringing petrol and diesel under the GST won't reduce prices if the tax rates are kept revenue neutral and governments don't sacrifice revenues.
Currently, diesel, petrol, crude oil, natural gas and aviation turbine fuel are outside the GST net and states have the right to impose value added tax on these items. The Central government levies Rs 19.48 excise duty on a litre of petrol and Rs 15.33 on diesel. States charge value added tax that varies from state to state.