Fuel prices surges for 15th day, touches Rs 78.27 in Delhi

ONGC and Oil India shares slumped nearly 7% on Thursday after PTI reported that the government may levy a windfall tax on oil producers to soften fuel prices

In the last few days, fuel prices have touched record highs, with petrol costing Rs 76.87 per litre in Delhi and diesel Rs 68.08 a litre.

Excise on both diesel and petrol has gone up almost Rs 10 a litre between 2014 and 2018 and now stands at Rs 19.48 a litre on petrol and Rs 15.33 on diesel. 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. Petrol was hiked by 36 paise to Rs 85.65 per litre in the country's commercial hub, Mumbai, making it the 12th straight hike in a row.

Contrast this with oil price situation now, it becomes ample clear that NDA government is focusing more on preventing its revenue sources by keeping excise duty on petrol and diesel high than offering consumers lower fuel prices.

Last week, BJP President Amit Shah had said that a plan is being worked upon to check petrol prices in the country. Brent crude is now priced around $76 per barrel. While New Delhi was quick to increment the fuel charge when the global rate went up, it is expected to exhibit a similar market-volatility for lowering the prices. They are far faster at passing on rises than falls.

"When crude prices were falling from November 2014, the repeated increase of duty was a strategic error of the government".

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As the Modi government completed 4 years in office, the price of fuel continues to rise.

He also asked the Odisha government to reduce Value-Added Tax on petroleum products to contain the cascading effect on rising fuel prices.

Speaking to ANI, Pradhan said, "It is due to various circumstances in worldwide (oil) market and mainly the value of Indian Rupee has reduced in comparison to US Dollar, which has led to a surge in oil prices".

The tax, which may come in form of a cess, will kick in the moment oil prices cross United States dollars 70 per barrel, sources privy to the development said.

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