Petrol and diesel prices differ from state to state depending on the incidence of local taxes. (Representative image: Pixabay)
Petrol and diesel prices remained unchanged a day after the government cut the excise duty on the two fuels to bring down retail rates from record highs, according to a price notification of state-owned fuel retailers.
The government had cut excise duty on petrol by Rs 5 per litre and that on diesel by Rs 10 a litre on November 3 to give relief to consumers battered by record-high retail fuel prices. Following this, petrol price was cut in the range of Rs 5.7 to Rs 6.35 per litre across the country and diesel rates by Rs 11.16 to Rs 12.88 on November 4 as oil companies passed on a record reduction in excise duty rates to consumers.
The November 4 decline took the price of petrol in Delhi to Rs 103.97 a litre. The price remained the same on November 5. Diesel price stayed unchanged at Rs 86.67 per litre on the day.
In Mumbai, fuel prices witnessed a similar trend. The petrol price remained unchanged and retailed at Rs 109.98 a litre. On May 29, Mumbai became the first metro in the country where petrol was retailed above Rs 100 per litre. Diesel price also remained the same and sold at Rs 94.14 per litre.
The petrol and diesel prices remained unchanged in Kolkata at Rs 104.67 per litre and Rs 89.79 per litre, respectively.
Chennai retailed a litre of petrol at the same price of Rs 101.40. Diesel price also remained unchanged at Rs 91.43 per litre.
The excise duty cut was the highest-ever reduction in excise duty. It rolls back a part of the Rs 13 and Rs 16 per litre increase in taxes on petrol and diesel effected between March 2020 and May 2020 to avoid passing on to consumers the sharp fall in international oil prices at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. That hike in excise duty had taken central taxes on petrol to their highest level of Rs 32.9 per litre and that on diesel to Rs 31.8 a litre.
Reducing the excise duty, the union government also urged states to commensurately reduce VAT on petrol and diesel to give relief to consumers. The tax cut follows an unrelenting hike in international oil prices pushing pump rates across the country to their highest-ever levels. While petrol soared to above Rs 100-a-litre-mark in all major cities, diesel had crossed that level in more than one-and-a-half dozen states.
After the Centre’s announcement, half a dozen BJP-ruled states have announced a cut in VAT rates.
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Puducherry saw an additional Rs 7 a litre reduction in both petrol and diesel price because of the cut in value-added tax (VAT). Goa saw an additional Rs 5.47 a litre cut in petrol and Rs 4.38 on diesel.
Gujarat too had an additional reduction of Rs 5.65 a litre on petrol and Rs 4.32 on diesel. Uttarakhand saw an additional 81 paise reduction in petrol price because of VAT cut.
VAT rates differ from state to state, leading to differential rates of fuel.
The total increase in petrol price since the May 5, 2020 decision of the government to raise excise duty to record levels had totalled Rs 38.78 per litre. Diesel rates have during this period gone up by Rs 29.03 per litre.