Petrol, Diesel Prices Eased Despite Excise Duty Hike

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New Delhi: Petrol price was on Monday slashed by 4 paise per litre and diesel rate was lowered by 3 paise per litre as the government raised excise duty on the fuels to deny consumers full benefit of falling international oil prices.

Now, petrol in Delhi would be available for Rs 59.95 per litre as against Rs 59.99 earlier. For diesel, one has to shell out Rs 44.68 for a litre as compared to Rs 44.71 previously, according to Indian Oil Corp (IOC), the country’s largest fuel retailer.

The reduction should have been Rs 1.04 per litre in petrol and Rs 1.53 in diesel because of a $4 per barrel fall in international rates last fortnight. But the government on the eve of the due price revision on Sunday raised excise duty on petrol by Rs 1 per litre and that on diesel by Rs 1.50 per litre.

The third increase in excise duty in a month will get the government Rs 3,200 crore in additional revenue during the remainder of the current fiscal year.

Taken together with the two excise duty hikes in November and December 2015, the government is expected to get Rs 17,000 crore in additional revenue. The five levy hikes total to Rs 4.02 per litre on petrol and Rs 6.97 on diesel.

The price of petrol should have been Rs 55.93 per litre and that of diesel Rs 37.71 if the excise duties were not hiked on the five occasions.

The reduction in auto fuel prices on Monday was the fifth cut in two months on back of softening global oil prices.

Rates were last cut by 32 paise per litre for petrol and 85 paise per litre for diesel from January 16. Prior to that, the prices were slashed by 63 paise per litre on petrol and Rs 1.06 per litre on diesel on January

1. In two reductions in December, prices were cut by Rs 1.08 on petrol and 71 paise on diesel.

State-owned fuel retailers IOC, Bharat Petroleum Corp (BPCL) and Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd (HPCL) revise rates of the fuel on the 1st and 16th of every month based on average oil price and foreign exchange rate in the preceding fortnight.

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