Upward journey continues - petrol touches Rs.90.11 in Maharashtra

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In the 13 days between August 29 and September 10, petrol and diesel prices have risen daily; in the case of petrol from Rs 81.45 to 84.06, and in the case of diesel from Rs 74.74 to Rs 77.98. The hike of 48 paise a litre for petrol and 47 paise for diesel is the steepest increase since the daily price revision came into effect over 14 months ago. A litre of petrol costs Rs 90.02 in Parbhani, which is located about 500 km away from Mumbai, due to higher local taxes and transportation cost.

CM Chandrababu Naidu announced cut-off in petrol and diesel prices by Rs 2 in Andhra Pradesh, after Vasundhara Raje in Rajasthan on the day nationwide shutdown called by oppositions. Diesel rate touched its highest level of Rs 72.51 a litre. Government officials had on Monday ruled out a cut in excise duty on petrol, diesel citing revenue loss.

However, many feel that by attributing the price hike only on worldwide factors must be taken with a pinch of salt, the BJP government is trying to shrug away its own responsibility of bringing fuel prices under the ambit of the Goods and the Services Tax (GST).

Mumbai has the highest tax rates among the metros.

The Congress party, along with other Opposition parties, had called a nationwide strike across the country on Monday to protest against fuel price hike and the falling value of the rupee against United States dollar. The spike in prices has renewed calls for cut in excise duty but Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has remained non-committal, saying global oil prices are volatile and have not shown any linear movement.

This is the biggest increase in rates in any fortnight since the daily price revision was introduced in mid-June past year.

These fuel price figures were released by the BJP.

While the Bharatiya Janata Party also claimed that the shutdown was "unsuccessful" because people understand the reasons why petrol and diesel prices were going up, the Congress termed the bandh as successful.

Addressing the Legislative Assembly, the AP chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu accused the BJP government at the centre for not considering to reduce fuel prices despite earning large sums through various taxes. "If taxes are cut, prices will decline significantly". Petrol is being sold here at Rs 90.05 per litre.

As it stands, the sales tax the state has imposed on petrol is 30.37 per cent, and that on diesel is 23.81 per cent. This led to its excise collections from petro goods more than doubling in last four years - from Rs 99,184 crore in 2014-15 to Rs 2,29,019 crore in 2017-18.