Rise in petrol, diesel prices continues as state refuses to cut tax citing ‘revenue loss’
The rise in prices of petrol and diesel continued on Thursday, a day after state finance minister cited sizeable ‘revenue loss’ for its inability to cut taxes on fuel.
The cost of petrol touched Rs 90.35 in Mumbai, while diesel was capped at Rs 78.82 per litre today – a hike of 13 paise and 12 paise respectively.
Meanwhile, in New Delhi, petrol touched the Rs 83-mark today and diesel cost rose to Rs 74.24.
Fuel prices in the country have been on the rise since mid-August, which the Centre has attributed to the increase in the prices of global crude oil and other international factors like the dip in rupee value against the US dollar.
While some states like West Bengal and Karnataka have slashed the excise/taxes on fuels to provide temporary relief to motorists, Maharashtra is yet to take any remedial steps despite being among states with the highest fuel costs and taxes.
Amid the growing unrest, Maharashtra Finance Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar on Wednesday clarified that the state would lose revenue to the tune of Rs 2,200 crore per year or Rs 6 crore per day if it slashes the prices of petrol and diesel by even Re 1 per litre.
He also said the government had already slashed taxes on petrol and diesel to check the surging prices of petrol and diesel at the state level and was in favour of bringing petrol and diesel under the ambit of the GST.
“Maharashtra brought down taxes on petrol by Rs 2 per litre and on diesel by Rs 1 per litre in October last year, whereas states like Rajasthan, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh have cut their taxes recently,” he told reporters yesterday.
The minister also acknowledged that the rising prices were a matter of concern for citizens as well as for the state government.
“The Maharashtra government is in the favour of bringing petrol and diesel under the ambit of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), but the Congress which is heading governments in some states is against this (move). These states think that they may lose their financial independence if fuel is brought under the GST,” he said.
Maharashtra gets 26 percent in taxes from the retail sale of petrol, the minister said.