Fuel prices continue to rise scaling new heights
Petrol and diesel prices continued to rise Monday, scaling new highs as the depreciating rupee made imports costlier.
Petrol price Monday increased by 23 paise a liter and diesel by 22 paise a liter, according to the price notification issued by state fuel retailers.
The increase pushed the petrol price in Delhi to a record high of Rs 80.73 per liter. Diesel rate touched its highest level of Rs 72.83 a liter.
Fuel prices in Delhi are the cheapest among all metros and most state capitals due to lower taxes.
The new high came on the day when opposition parties led by the Congress called for a nation-wide 'Bharat Bandh' to protest against the spiraling fuel prices. They blame the government's unwillingness to cut excise duty for high fuel prices and consumer burden.
The rupee Monday dropped by around 94 paise to touch a record low of 72.67 to the dollar due to a strengthening dollar and a widened current account deficit.
Almost half of the retail selling price of the two fuels is made up of central and state taxes.
According to oil companies, petrol at refinery gate costs around Rs 40.50 a liter and diesel Rs 43 per liter.
The Centre currently levies a total excise duty of Rs 19.48 per liter of petrol and Rs 15.33 per liter on diesel. On top of this, states levy Value Added Tax (VAT) -- the lowest being in Andaman and Nicobar Islands where 6 percent sales tax is charged on both the fuels.
Mumbai has the highest VAT of 39.12 percent on petrol, while Telangana levies the highest VAT of 26 percent on diesel. Delhi charges a VAT of 27 percent on petrol and 17.24 percent on diesel.
The Central government had raised excise duty on petrol by Rs 11.77 a liter and that on diesel by 13.47 a liter in nine installments 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 liter.
This led to its excise collections from petro goods more than doubling in the last four years -- from Rs 99,184 crore in 2014-15 to Rs 2,29,019 crore in 2017-18. States saw their VAT revenue from petro goods rise from Rs 1,37,157 crore in 2014-15 to Rs 1,84,091 crore in 2017-18.