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Petrol now Rs 73.95 in Delhi, Rs 81.80 in Mumbai; fuel prices hiked for sixth day in a row

Petrol now Rs 73.95 in Delhi, Rs 81.80 in Mumbai; fuel prices hiked for sixth day in a row

India has the highest retail prices of petrol and diesel among South Asian nations and taxes account for half of the pump rates.

PC: Reuters PC: Reuters

After touching a four-year high on Sunday, petrol and diesel prices are still on a rise. Fuel prices are revised every morning at 6 am and for the sixth day in a row, petrol and diesel prices have increased. According to Indian Oil, petrol prices were increased by 11-13 paise on Tuesday for a litre in metro cities, while diesel increased by 13-14 paise.

Petrol prices in Delhi have touched Rs 73.95, while in Mumbai it is Rs 81.80. It is retailing at Rs 76.66 in Kolkata and Rs 76.72 in Chennai. On Monday, the petrol price in Delhi was Rs 73.83, while it was Rs 76.54 in Kolkata, Rs 81.69 in Mumbai and Rs 76.59 in Chennai.

Consumers in Delhi will now have to pay Rs 64.82 for a litre of diesel in Delhi, while consumers will have to shell out Rs 67.51 in Kolkata, Rs 69.02 in Mumbai and Rs 68.38 in Chennai. The prices on Monday were Rs 64.69, Rs 67.38, Rs 68.89 and Rs 68.24 respectively.

India has the highest retail prices of petrol and diesel among South Asian nations and taxes account for half of the pump rates. The Oil Ministry had earlier this year sought a reduction in excise duty on petrol and diesel to cushion the impact rising international oil rates but Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in his Budget presented on February 1 ignored those calls.

Jaitley had raised excise duty nine times between November 2014 and January 2016 to shore up finances as global oil prices fell, but then cut the tax just once in October last year by Rs 2 a litre.

Subsequent to that excise duty reduction, the Centre had asked states to also lower VAT but just four of them - Maharashtra, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh - reduced rates while others including BJP-ruled ones ignored the call.

The central government had cut excise duty by Rs 2 per litre in October 2017, when petrol price reached Rs 70.88 per litre in Delhi and diesel Rs. 59.14. Because of the reduction in excise duty, diesel prices had on October 4, 2017 come down to Rs 56.89 per litre and petrol to Rs 68.38 per litre. However, a global rally in crude prices pushed domestic fuel prices far higher than those levels.

The October 2017 excise duty cut cost the government Rs 26,000 crore in annual revenue and about Rs 13,000 crore during the remaining part of the current fiscal year.

The government had between November 2014 and January 2016 raised excise duty on petrol and diesel on nine occasions to take away gains arising from plummeting global oil prices. In all, duty on petrol rate was hiked by Rs 11.77 per litre and that on diesel by 13.47 a litre in those 15 months that helped government's excise mop up more than double to Rs 242,000 crore in 2016-17 from Rs 99,000 crore in 2014-15.

State-owned oil companies - Indian Oil Corporation, Bharat Petroleum Corporation and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation - in June last year dumped the 15-year old practice of revising rates on the 1st and 16th of every month . Instead, they adopted a daily price revision system to instantly reflect changes in cost. Since then, prices are revised on a daily basis.

(With PTI inputs)