As BJP States Follow Centre in Cutting Fuel Prices, Kerala Refuses

Shares of oil marketing companies fell after finance minister Arun Jaitley said that the government has asked the companies to absorb Rs 1 cut on fuel prices

Shares of oil marketing companies fell after finance minister Arun Jaitley said that the government has asked the companies to absorb Rs 1 cut on fuel prices

Maharashtra's Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has just announced an additional relief of Rs 2.5/litre resulting in a total Rs 5/litre drop in petrol prices.

The Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley, while addressing a Press Conference in New Delhi today announced reduction in Central Excise Duty Rs.1.50/ litre in case of both petrol & diesel while OMCs to absorb cut of Rs.1/ litre, giving an overall relief of Rs.2.50/litre in fuel prices.

In the announcement, Jaitley has also asked state governments to announce a matching reduction in duties and taxes levied by the state, which could see the prices decrease even further.

He also noted that the oil marketing companies are fully competent to deal with the decision and the government was not going back on fuel price deregulation. In Kolkata and Chennai, petrol prices climbed by 15 paise to Rs 85.80 and Rs 87.33 per litre, respectively. Top sources said that the state government is also considering a reduction in the prices of diesel. Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala termed the cut in prices as a "pittance of one or two rupees", claiming that BJP-ruled states Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Rajasthan levy the highest Value-Added Tax on petroleum products.

Madhya Pradesh government has also chose to give an additional relief of ₹2.5/litre on Petrol and Diesel to give total benefit of ₹5/litre in the state, tweeted Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan.

In a tweet, Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani announced that "the government of Gujarat has made a decision to cut Rs 2.50 on both petrol and diesel".

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The cuts will cost the Centre Rs 10,500 crore in tax revenues, he said.

Brent oil on Wednesday crossed $86 per barrel, which is the highest in the last four years, and rising interest rates in the USA have a significant impact across global markets, said Jaitley.

Thirteen of the 21 Bharatiya Janata Party ruled states as well as Jammu and Kashmir, which is presently under governor's rule, have heeded Jaitley's call, while none of the opposition-ruled states have followed suit.

"The states' revenue increases because of increased crude oil prices and hence it is easier for the states to absorb Rs 2.50", he said.

Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh called a meeting of officers of excise and taxation and finance department on Friday to assess the implications and the impact of the Centre's suggestion to states on reducing fuel prices. Calling it an election gimmick, the Congress said the BJP will face imminent defeat in the upcoming Assembly elections of five states.

Maharashtra charges the highest sales tax and VAT on petrol at 39.12 per cent. Banerjee claimed that fuel prices were reduced in the global market and asked why these were increasing in the country.

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