Petrol price breached Rs 100 mark in Rajasthan's Ganganagar district and Madhya Pradesh's Nagarabandh on Wednesday as fuel rates hiked for the ninth consecutive day. According to Indian Oil Corporation data, the retail price of non-premium petrol at Ganganagar touched Rs 100.13 per litre on February 17. Diesel price at Ganganagar is at Rs 92.13 per litre. Current petrol price in MP's Nagarabandh is Rs 100.40 per litre, as per IOCL data. Whereas, the diesel is priced at Rs 90.81 per litre.
On the other hand, for the first time, petrol has jumped to Rs 96 per litre in Mumbai after oil companies hiked the price by 25 paise on Wednesday. The cost of 1 litre diesel touched Rs 86.98 per litre
In Delhi, petrol is on the verge of crossing Rs 90, and diesel Rs 80 as fuel rates continue to rise sharply. One litre of petrol costs Rs 89.54 per litre, and diesel Rs 79.95 per lire.
In February so far, petrol prices have gone up by Rs 3.25 per litre and diesel by Rs 3.29 per litre in Delhi. Across the country as well the petrol prices increased in the range of 25-32 paise per litre and diesel priced 30-35 paise per litre on Wednesday depending on the level of local taxes on the two petroleum products.
Prices of the two fuels have increased around 21 times this year with petrol and diesel rates hiked by Rs 5.83 and Rs 6.08 per litre respectively in 2021.
The skyrocketing fuel prices in the country is because of three main reasons--rise in global crude, Centre's excise duties, and state's value added tax (VAT)
On Wednesday, global oil prices fell as US dollar climbed, retreating after a two-day rally that was driven by an Arctic blast. Brent crude futures dropped 40 cents, or 0.6 per cent, to $62.95 a barrel, coming off three days of gains.
However, the crude cost is only partly to blame as the changes in international oil prices marks merely 35-42 per cent changes in retail fuel prices. The rest is largely central and state taxes.
According to data from the Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell, the average crude oil prices in April fell to $19.90/bbl during the coronavirus pandemic. However, Indian consumers didn't get the benefit of such low international crude oil prices as the Central government hiked excise duty on petrol by Rs 13 per litre and on diesel by Rs 16 per litre.
This in turn helped the government shore up its revenues when all the other tax revenues collections were hit hard. Net union excise duty was budgeted at Rs 2.67 lakh crore in FY21, however, the revised estimate is much higher at Rs 3.61 lakh crore, an addition of Rs 94,000 crore.
The Reserve Bank of India in its February monetary policy meeting (MPC) expressed the concern of skyrocketing fuel prices but Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan in Rajya Sabha said that the government was not currently looking at cutting taxes on petrol and diesel.
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