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Fuel price hike Highlights: GST ‘one way to ease the situation’, says Petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan

Petrol, diesel price hike Highlights: "The oil ministry is of the view to bring petroleum products under the purview of the GST in order to bring down the prices of petrol and diesel. We are deliberating on an immediate solution to this problem till that time," Dharmendra Pradhan said in Bhubaneswar.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: May 24, 2018 10:06:44 pm
Petrol price, petrol price today, petrol price hike, diesel price today, Petrol price in new delhi, petro price in mumbai, diesel price in New delhi, statewise petrol price, Narendra Modi, Bharatiya Janata Party, Nitin gadkari, fuel prices, Fuel price hike Highlights: The diesel rates have also touched a high of Rs 68.53 and Rs 72.96 per litre in Delhi and Mumbai, respectively.

Rising fuel prices have set off a political firestorm in the past few days as petrol and diesel rates have skyrocketed. On Thursday, petrol price touched Rs 85.29 per litre in Mumbai, while in Delhi the price inched higher to a new record of Rs 77.47 per litre. Similarly, the diesel rates have also touched a high of Rs 68.53 and Rs 72.96 per litre in Delhi and Mumbai, respectively.

Amid mounting pressure from the Opposition parties on the relentless fuel price hike, Union Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said that the Centre was deliberating on an “immediate solution” to deal with rising fuel prices. “The oil ministry is of the view to bring petroleum products under the purview of the GST in order to bring down the prices of petrol and diesel. We are deliberating on an immediate solution to this problem till that time,” Pradhan said in Bhubaneswar.

Meanwhile, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari had on Wednesday said subsidising petrol and diesel to bring down their rising retail prices will take money away from social welfare schemes of the government and that increase in oil prices is “unavoidable” since India is now linked to the global economy. “This is an unavoidable, economic situation. It is directly linked to the global economy. If we have to sell it (petrol/diesel) cheap, it means we will have to buy it at higher prices and subsidise it here,” Gadkari told The Indian Express.

Also Read | To reduce fuel price, government looks at ONGC to share the burden

Live Blog

Petrol, diesel price cross Rs 77, Rs 68, respectively in New Delhi, Rs 85, Rs 72 in Mumbai, respectively today. READ Highlights of all that happened on Thursday here:

20:55 (IST)24 May 2018
Onus to cut fuel prices lies on Centre: Mamata Banerjee

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday said that the Centre should look into the issue of surging fuel prices not from a political angle but from the common man's point of view.

The everyday increase in petrol and diesel prices is causing severe problem for the common people, Banerjee said. "This price hike causes severe problem for the common people. This is an issue of the common people. The central government must look into this," Banerjee told reporters in Kolkata.

-PTI

19:19 (IST)24 May 2018
GST 'one way to ease situation', says Dharmendra Pradhan

Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said that the hike in fuel prices is due to circumstances in the international market. 'The value of Indian rupee has reduced in comparison to dollar and there has been a surge in oil prices. We are trying to control prices. GST is one way to ease the situation, other ways also being thought of,' Pradhan told ANI.

16:03 (IST)24 May 2018
Bringing petrol, diesel under GST will lower prices, says Devendra Fadnavis

Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis today said fuel prices will come down once the Centre builds a consensus to bring petrol and diesel under the Goods and Services Tax (GST).Petrol and diesel prices are defined by international crude oil rates, Fadnavis noted.

"A task force is already working on reducing the fuel prices. If it (petrol and diesel) can be brought under GST, rates will come down. Maharashtra has already given its consent for it," the chief minister told reporters in Mumbai.

The GST Council will also have to look into aspects like revenue losses before taking a decision, he said. Talks are going on with finance ministers of all states, Fadnavis said, adding that "other states have not given their consent yet." "Once petrol and diesel are brought under the ambit of GST, its threshold will change, because, right now, taxes upon taxes are levied which increases rates. GST will ensure a single tax," he said.

-PTI

14:46 (IST)24 May 2018
Reduce fuel prices or Congress will do a nationwide agitation, Rahul warns PM Modi
13:56 (IST)24 May 2018

Terming the hike in petrol and diesel price "historic", IYC's national spokesperson Amrish Ranjan Pandey said, "The steepest fuel price hike will have cascading effects on other essential commodities affecting people already suffering from the exhaustive policies of the NDA government."

13:56 (IST)24 May 2018

The activists had planned to march from the IYC to Shastri Bhawan, which houses the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, but police did not allow them to proceed by erecting barricades few meters away from the ministry office.

13:45 (IST)24 May 2018
IYC activists protest against rise in petrol, diesel prices

Youth Congress activists staged a protest against the steep rise in petrol and diesel prices near the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas in New Delhi on Wednesday, blaming the BJP-led Centre for the same. The protest, led by Indian Youth Congress National General Secretary Sitaram Lamba and National Secretary Khushboo Sharma, was organised by the Delhi Pradesh Youth Congress.

13:44 (IST)24 May 2018

Similar protests would be held in all the districts on Saturday and Sunday, TMC secretary-general Partha Chatterjee said. "The prices of petrol and diesel have touched an all-time high and it has affected the common people. The protest would be organised by Trinamool Youth Congress. The Centre did not slash the prices of petrol and diesel even when the prices were low in the international market," he said.

13:42 (IST)24 May 2018
TMC to protest against petrol price hike on Friday

Trinamool Congress said that it would organise protests in the city on Friday against the steep rise in fuel prices as it affected the common people.

13:41 (IST)24 May 2018

At present, tax rates on petrol and diesel in Punjab are about 36 per cent and 17.22 per cent, respectively. However, tax rate on petrol and diesel in Chandigarh stand at about 19.65 and 11.65 per cent, respectively, he said. "We have given memorandum to the Punjab Finance Minister Manpreet Badal for reduction in VAT. But nothing has been done yet," said Mongia, who has a fuel pump in Mohali.

13:41 (IST)24 May 2018

The disparity in petrol and diesel prices has particularly hit the businesses of petrol pump owners in the border districts of Sangrur, Patiala, Bathinda, Gurdaspur, Mohali, Fathegarh Sahib, Ropar, Hoshiarpur, Gurdaspur and Mansa.

13:40 (IST)24 May 2018

Mongia said, "With the record rise in retail prices, the rampant smuggling of fuel is taking place. Be it car owners or industry which requires fuel, all of them have switched over to Chandigarh-based fuel pumps. You can check the fuel pumps at Chandigarh and you will find 90 per cent of vehicles belong to either Punjab or Haryana." 

13:39 (IST)24 May 2018

Pump owners further said they are suffering losses as vehicles and industries that require fuel cross over to Chandigarh-based fuel pumps to meet their petrol and diesel requirements. "With the price of fuel soaring frequently, the business of petroleum products has been affected adversely," said Ashwinder Mongia, member of Petrol Pump Dealers' Association of Punjab.

13:39 (IST)24 May 2018

Fuel pump owners in Punjab on Wednesday also sought reduction in taxes on petrol and diesel, alleging that higher retail prices in the state have led to smuggling of fuel from Chandigarh, where rates are comparatively lower.

13:38 (IST)24 May 2018

Putting the onus on the Centre, he said, "Let's hope that something fruitful in this regard transpires in today's meeting between Union Petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan and oil companies". In October last year, the state government had reduced the VAT on petrol and diesel by 4 per cent. Prior to that, the state government used to charge 24 per cent VAT on petrol and diesel.

13:38 (IST)24 May 2018

"Gujarat is the only state which had reduced VAT some time back to give relief to the citizens. Though VAT on fuel in many states is higher than Gujarat, these states have not reduced this tax like we had done," Patel, who also handles Finance portfolio, said. He added that although the prices are increasing, the use of petrol and diesel is not decreasing.

13:37 (IST)24 May 2018

"Fuel prices change as per the international crude prices. There are many states where VAT is higher than what it is in Gujarat today. VAT on fuel is the main source of income for us," Patel said in response to a query. Presently,  Gujarat government charges 20 per cent VAT and 4 per cent cess on both petrol and diesel.

13:37 (IST)24 May 2018
No plans to reduce VAT on fuel, indicates Gujarat Deputy CM

The Gujarat government had on Wednesday indicated that it has no immediate plans to reduce the Value Added tax (VAT) on petrol and diesel, claiming that such tax revenue is the key source of income. Gujarat Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel had said that the state government had already provided a relief to the people by reducing VAT on fuel last year.

13:35 (IST)24 May 2018

The government raised excise duty nine times between November 2014 and January 2016 to shore up finances as global oil prices fell, but then cut the tax just once in October last year by Rs 2 a litre. The Centre levies Rs 19.48 as excise duty on a litre of petrol and Rs 15.33 on diesel. State sales tax or VAT varies from state to state. Unlike excise duty, VAT is ad valorem and results in higher revenues for the state when rates move up.

13:29 (IST)24 May 2018

Incidentally, ONGC and Oil India Ltd had till June 2015 provided for up to 40 per cent of the annual fuel subsidy bill. This they did by way of providing discounts on crude sold to downstream refining and marketing companies, IOC, BPCL, and HPCL. This discount helped the retailers make good a part of the losses they incurred on selling petrol and diesel below cost.

Petrol price, petrol price today, petrol price hike, diesel price today, Petrol price in new delhi, petro price in mumbai, diesel price in New delhi, statewise petrol price, Narendra Modi, Bharatiya Janata Party, Nitin gadkari, fuel prices, Indian express news Petrol, diesel price hike LIVE: Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan.

Petrol, diesel price hike LIVE: However, the Finance Ministry--wary of slipping on fiscal deficit targets-- is reluctant to take a hit on excise duty levied on petrol and diesel. The Petroleum Ministry has also stepped in and it is working on getting Oil & Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) to take the burden, sources told The Indian Express. “The Ministry plans to direct ONGC to sell its crude oil at below ruling international prices by capping the price at, say, $70 for the entire fiscal year. Oil India Ltd (the other national oil producer) will not be a part of this scheme,” a government official said.

The prices have climbed high in other major metro cities as well. Fuel prices differ from state to state according to the incidence of local sales tax or VAT. While petrol costs Rs 79.66 in Guwahati, Kolkata booths have petrol at Rs 76.77 per litre. Petrol breached the Rs 80 mark in other cities including Hyderabad (Rs 82.07), Jalandhar (Rs 82.71), Srinagar (81.86), Trivandram (81.62),Chennai (80.42), Gangtok(80.5), Bhopal(83.08), Patna (82.94), Kolkata(80.12) and Jaipur(80.24).

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