Fuel price hike: Bring petrol under GST to arrest surge, say experts

Similarly, petrol is being sold for ₹83.54 per litre in Chennai and the diesel retail price is ₹76.64 per litre.

On Monday, opposition parties, led by the Congress, called a nationwide strike against the constant rise of fuel prices and degradation of rupee against USA dollar.

The current price hike across the country, is a result of multiple factors including the worldwide geopolitical situation, a diving rupee, but most importantly, the government's unrelenting tax regime and the silence of its ministers over the issue. "The effect of this benefit has kept inflation under control despite rise in fuel prices".

MNS chief Raj Thackeray, said the current BJP dispensation at the Centre is "worse" than the erstwhile UPA government. Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan's statement that it was not possible to reduce the prices was 'irresponsible.' The popular support to the bandh call given by the Opposition speaks volumes of public anger and resentment, he said.

The Delhi High Court on Monday dismissed the pleas of Sonia and Rahul challenging reopening of their tax assessments for 2011-12. Fuel prices in Delhi are the cheapest among all metros and most State capitals due to lower taxes. While petrol prices have seen dramatic increase in Delhi and Mumbai, it is in the city of Parbhani that the fuel price is at the highest-level in India. The reduction was carried out on May 31 in such a manner that the prices of both petrol and diesel will drop by a rupee. Unlike the previous governments, the BJP has also failed to cut excise duty whenever global oil prices shoot up.

Rajasthan government has already announced a four percentage point cut in VAT on petrol and diesel, while Andhra Pradesh announced a Rs 2 cut in petrol and diesel prices on Monday by slashing sales tax on the fuels.

Nearly half of the fuel price is made up of taxes.

The price of petrol touched Rs 88.26 a litre in Mumbai - an increase of Rs 0.14 a litre compared to Monday, reported ANI. Opposition parties are demanding a cut in the excise duty on petrol and diesel and bringing fuel under the ambit of GST.

AIMTC's Gupta adds, "If they wish they can make our lives easier, now the small farmers are failing to cope with the price revisions every day, we are heavily reliant on this fuel, the changing prices not being put under a uniform ambit are hurting us the most, there has to be a rollback urgently".

The fuel rates have been on fire since mid-August, rising nearly every day due to a drop in rupee value and rise in crude oil rates.

Vanessa Coleman

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