New Delhi, February 18
After Rajasthan, petrol price on Thursday crossed the Rs 100 per litre mark in Madhya Pradesh after fuel rates were increased for the tenth day in a row.
Petrol price was hiked by 34 paise per litre and diesel by 32 paise, according to a price notification of state-owned fuel retailers.
While branded or additive-laced petrol, which attracts higher taxes, had crossed the Rs 100-mark in some places in states like Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, regular petrol crossed the physiological mark in Sriganganagar town of Rajasthan on Wednesday, and on Thursday it went past that mark in Madhya Pradesh.
In Anuppur of Madhya Pradesh, petrol is priced at Rs 100.25 per litre and diesel at Rs 90.35.
Fuel prices differ from state to state depending on the incidence of local taxes such as VAT and freight charges. Rajasthan levies the highest value-added tax (VAT) on petrol in the country, followed by Madhya Pradesh.
Madhya Pradesh levies 33 per cent plus Rs 4.5 a litre and 1 per cent cess on petrol. On diesel, it charges 23 per cent plus Rs 3 per litre and 1 per cent cess.
After Thursday’s price increase, petrol in Delhi costs Rs 89.88 per litre and diesel Rs 80.27.
In Mumbai, petrol price rose to Rs 96.32 a litre and diesel was priced at Rs 87.32.
Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan had on Wednesday blamed output cut by oil-producing nations for the rally in international oil prices that have translated into higher retail rates in India.
He urged Saudi Arabia and other global oil producers to ease production cuts, saying rising international oil prices are hurting economic recovery and demand.
Demand recovery should take “primacy” over oil prices at least for the next few months, he had said.
International oil prices have been on the boil since Saudi Arabia pledged additional voluntary output cuts of 1 million barrels per day in February and March under a deal between the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies including Russia, a group known as OPEC+.
This has resulted in oil prices rising to USD 63 per barrel, the highest level in more than a year.
“The rising crude oil prices during the last few weeks is hurting the fragile global economic recovery due to significant demand contraction, which might even mirror the impact of COVID-19 in its initial stages,” Pradhan had said at the 11th IEA IEF OPEC Symposium on Energy Outlooks.
India, he said, had contained the inflationary pressures on several fronts but not those impacted by crude prices.
“The price-sensitive Indian consumers are affected by rising petroleum product prices. It also affects demand growth, which could potentially impact the delicate aspirational economic growth trajectory not just in India but in other developing countries as well,” he said.
Also, on Wednesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi blamed India’s over 85 per cent import dependence for the “burden” the common man was facing.
In Sriganganagar, petrol price soared to Rs 100.49 a litre on Thursday.
The record price in Rajasthan is despite the state government late last month cutting VAT on petrol and diesel by 2 per cent.
VAT on petrol, after the cut, at 36 per cent plus Rs 1.5 per litre road cess is still the highest in the country. On diesel, the state levies 26 per cent and Rs 1.75 per litre road cess.
Diesel in Sriganganagar is priced at 92.47 a litre.
In 10 straight days, prices have gone up by Rs 2.93 per litre for petrol and Rs 3.14 per litre for diesel.
The relentless hike in prices has been criticised by the opposition parties including the Congress, that has demanded an immediate cut in taxes to ease the burden on the common man.
Pradhan last week had told Parliament that the government is not considering a reduction in excise duty to cool rates from their record highs.
Central and state taxes make up for 60 per cent of the retail selling price of petrol and over 54 per cent of diesel.
The Union Government levies Rs 32.90 per litre of excise duty on petrol and Rs 31.80 a litre on diesel.
Retail petrol rates have risen by Rs 20.29 per litre since mid-March 2020, after the government raised taxes by a record margin to mop up gains arising from fall in international oil prices. Diesel rates have gone up by Rs 17.98. PTI
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