Published: Sun, October 07, 2018
Finance | By Jaime Brady

India Introduces Fuel Relief On Rising Prices At The Pump

India Introduces Fuel Relief On Rising Prices At The Pump

"We are writing to the state governments that as the central government is cutting Rs 2.50 on both petrol and diesel, they do the same".

The Centre on Thursday reduced fuel prices by Rs 2.50 per litre with immediate effect. "After the implementation of revision of fuel prices on a daily basis in the past year, this is the highest tax cut on petrol and diesel", he said.

This is the second time in one year that the Centre has cut excise duty on petrol and diesel as rising prices pinch the common man.

Recently, the BJP government announced a Rs 2.50 per litre reduction in prices of petrol and diesel. Petrol Price Hits Rs 84 in Delhi, Diesel Costs Rs 80 in Mumbai as Fuel Rates Continue to Soar.

The Finance Minister said, however, that the higher oil prices were not the only factor that prompted the decision: India was also getting hit by higher US interest rates, although he added that only the country's current account deficit was swelling under the twin pressure of prices and rates, while the national fiscal deficit was enjoying the positive effects from direct tax collection rates.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today announced a Rs 2.50 a litre cut in petrol and diesel prices, factoring in excise duty reduction of Rs 1.50 per litre and asking oil companies to absorb another Re 1.

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The shares of Indian oil marketing companies sank after the announcement, with Indian Oil Stocks down by 18.24 percent, HPCL stocks tumbled by 22 percent and BPCL stocks declined by 19 percent. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Saturday assured the markets that the government would not go back to regulating fuel prices.

The Minister expressed confidence about meeting the fiscal deficit target despite the excise duty cut, saying increased revenue collections would absorb the impact of the cuts.

The price cut would be effective from midnight tonight.

Opposition-ruled States like Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal and Kerala had already reduced Value-Added Tax but Congress-ruled Punjab is yet to take a call. "Thus petrol & diesel wd be Rs. 5 cheaper in the State of Gujarat".

By lowering duties, the Narendra Modi government is borrowing a page from the rulebook of past governments that have lowered levies whenever global oil prices shot up. Kerala Finance Minister Thomas Isaac also announced that the government will not reduce prices at the state level. Any further revenue loss, however, could widen the fiscal deficit.

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