NEW DELHI: The prices of petrol and diesel were hiked again on Sunday, for the fifth time in a week, leading to an increase of Rs 3.70 and Rs 3.75 per litre respectively since Tuesday. Petrol and diesel after the hike of 50 paise and 55 paise respectively in Delhi are now being sold at Rs 99.11 per litre and Rs 90.42 per litre today.
In Mumbai, the prices of petrol and diesel were hiked by 53 paise and 58 paise respectively. Now, the people in the finance capital will have to pay Rs 113.88 for petrol and Rs 98.13 for diesel. The revised rates of petrol and diesel in Chennai is Rs 104.90 and Rs 95.00, while in Kolkata, the price of petrol is Rs 108.53 and diesel is Rs 93.57.
This is the fifth increase in fuel prices since ending a four-and-half-month pause on March 22. On all four occasions, fuel prices were hiked by 80 paise per litre. There had been a pause in the revision of fuel prices since November 4 last year, which was broken on March 22 following the crude oil going upwards in the wake of the Russian military operations in Ukraine.
Prices are set to be raised further given the sharp jump in crude oil prices in the international markets. It will have a cascading impact on the prices of other items and lead to inflationary pressure and hurt growth. It will have a cascading effect on the prices of other items.
Meanwhile, Congress has decided to launch a nationwide programme 'Mehngai Mukt Bharat Abhiyan' against price rise under which it will organise rallies and marches across the country from March 31 to April 7.
Speaking to ANI, a Delhi resident said that the fuel prices are increasing every day, but this should not happen and the government should take action to stop the trend. "Price should come down as it is affecting our budget. I urge the government to take action," said Pramod Kumar, a Delhi resident.
Another commuter and a resident of Uttar Pradesh's Meerut urged the state government to decrease the Value-Added Tax (VAT) on petrol and diesel to provide relief to people or to bring it under the single nationwide Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime.
"The fuel prices are increasing daily because of the Ukraine-Russia war. The prices are changing in every country. But the government should cut excise duty to control the prices. We have to give more VAT on petroleum products because it is not under the GST regime. I urge the state government to reduce VAT or bring it under the single nationwide GST regime. Now, we are giving 35 per cent tax on petrol and diesel but if it comes under GST we will just have to pay 28 per cent tax," he added.
It is high time that petroleum products, including petrol, diesel and aviation turbine fuel (ATF), are brought under the single nationwide Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime. "Bringing petroleum products under GST will help a lot. It is good for everyone. It is good for the economy," Pradeep Multani, President, PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry, told ANI in an interview.
On November 3 last year the Centre had cut excise duty by Rs 5 per litre on petrol and Rs 10 per litre on diesel to bring down the retail prices across the country. Following this, several state governments had reduced Value-Added Tax (VAT) on petrol and diesel to provide relief to people.