Kerala comes to a standstill on Bharat Bandh day

Posted September 11, 2018

The prices of both petrol and diesel have been at their record high levels for around a week now, with the petrol price crossing the Rs 80 per litre mark on Saturday.

With the title "Truth of hike in petroleum prices", the ruling party with the help of bar diagrams explained that the percentage increase in the rise of fuels in 2018 is less than the increase during the previous two terms.

Meanwhile, transporters are gearing up to put pressure on the government to reverse its fuel tax policy.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley remained evasive on the issue of cutting down excise duty to cushion the spiralling petrol and diesel prices, adding that worldwide oil prices are volatile and have not shown any linear movement.

Bharat Bandh: Petrol, diesel prices continue to breach record levels on Monday
On the other hand, the price of petrol rose to Rs 87.77 per litre in Mumbai, while diesel is being sold at 76.98 per litre. Off late, the prices are on a northward journey for about a month now, baring a few days, when it dropped marginally.

In other metro cities, too, fuel prices continued to soar. Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan also attributed the hike in fuel prices mainly to rupee depreciation. The parties claim that the government is stubbornly refusing to cut the high excise duty, which is adding to the crushing burden on consumers. Kerala has one of the highest fuel prices in the country. Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh has already cut down state taxes on both fuels. Government officials had on Monday ruled out a cut in excise duty on petrol, diesel citing revenue loss. It is true, what he has done in four years had not happened in 70 years. The Centre now levies a total excise duty of Rs 19.48 per litre of petrol and Rs 15.33 per litre on diesel. On this price, the state had imposed a total of Rs 21.84 as sales tax and dealer's commission. Further, it may also affect the stock markets negatively, especially those shares that are dependent on oil and gas in some way or the other.

This is the biggest increase in rates in any fortnight since the daily price revision was introduced in mid-June past year. Earlier, petrol prices were revised every fortnight, meaning that unlike now, the prices changed on the 1st and 16th of every month. In Mumbai, petrol and diesel rates touched a new high of Rs 88.26 and Rs 77.47 per litre respectively.

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.