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Too little, too late: Left on reduction of fuel prices

twitter-logoPTI | October 4, 2018 | Updated 22:12 IST

/R New Delhi, Oct 4 (PTI) The Left parties described the Centre's reduction of the excise duty on petrol and diesel on Thursday as "too little and too late", saying it was like rubbing salt on the wounds of the common man. CPI(M) leader Mohammed Salim said the central government realised that it should reduce the fuel prices when the price of petrol and diesel was just "few runs away from hitting the century". "The common man was suffering and Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government kept watching. This meagre reduction is like rubbing salt on the wounds of the common man, who is reeling under the rising prices," Salim said. Echoing similar sentiments, CPI leader D Raja said, "It is too little and too late. There is urgent need for more reduction in petrol and diesel prices." Raja added that oil marketing companies needed to absorb more as they made hefty profits when international crude prices were at its lowest levels. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced a Rs 2.50-per-litre cut in petrol and diesel prices by reducing excise duty and asking PSU oil firms to take a hit of Rs 9,000 crore, a step that was matched by BJP-ruled states by slashing VAT, so as to double the reduction in retail rates. While the Centre cut excise duty on petrol and diesel by Rs 1.50 per litre and asked oil firms to absorb Re 1 a litre of prices, BJP-ruled states including Gujarat, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Chattisgarh, Jharkhand, Assam and Tripura announced a cut in VAT of up to Rs 2.5 per litre to effect a Rs 5-per-litre reduction in pump rates. The price cuts would be effective from midnight. PTI JTR HMB

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