For the first time ever, the price of petrol crossed the Rs 100 per litre mark in Rajasthan on Wednesday after fuel rates were hiked for the ninth day in a row.
Petrol and diesel prices were increased by 25 paise per litre each, 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, this is the first time that regular petrol crossed the physiological mark.
In Sriganganagar town of Rajasthan, petrol price soared to Rs 100.13 a litre on Wednesday. Fuel prices differ from state to state depending on the incidence of local taxes such as VAT and freight charges. Rajasthan levies the highest VAT on petrol in the country. After Wednesday’s price increase, petrol in Delhi cost Rs 89.54 per litre and diesel Rs 79.95.
In Mumbai, petrol price rose to Rs 96 a litre and diesel was priced at Rs 86.98. The record price in Rajasthan is despite the state government late last month cutting VAT on petrol and diesel by 2 per cent.
The value-added tax (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 92.13 a litre. In Anuppur of Madhya Pradesh, petrol is priced at 99.90 per litre and diesel at Rs 90.35.
Branded petrol at Sriganganagar was priced at Rs 102.91 a litre and similar grade diesel at Rs 95.79. Branded petrol is priced at Rs 92.37 per litre in Delhi and the same grade diesel at Rs 83.24.
In nine straight days, prices have gone up by Rs 2.59 per litre for petrol and Rs 2.82 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.
Oil Minister Dharmendra 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 19.95 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 17.66.