Excise duty on petrol, diesel cut by ₹2 per litre
NEW DELHI: Bowing to public pressure, the government on Tuesday cut excise duty on petrol and diesel by Rs 2 per litre to moderate the relentless rise in fuel prices witnessed for the last three months.
"Govt of India has reduced Basic Excise Duty rate on petrol and diesel [both branded and unbranded] by Rs 2 per litre w.e.f. 4th October 2017," the finance ministry said in a tweet.
Prices of petrol and diesel will be reduced by the amount of duty cut with effect from Wednesday.
Petrol currently costs Rs 70.88 per litre in Delhi while a litre of diesel is priced at Rs 59.14, the highest ever.
On petrol, the government currently levies excise duties totalling Rs 21.48 per litre while that on diesel is Rs 17.33 per litre.
The government, which had raised duties three years back to take away gains arising from plummeting global oil prices, has been criticised for not cutting excise duty despite a sustained rise in fuel prices since early July.
Petrol price has jumped by Rs 7.8 per litre since July 4, while diesel rates have touched an all-time high after rates went up by Rs 5.7.
"This (excise duty cut) has been done to cushion the impact of rising international prices of crude petroleum oil and petrol and diesel on their retail sale prices," it said in another tweet.
The duty reduction will lead to a Rs 13,000 crore loss of revenue to the government during the remaining period of the fiscal.
Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan had previously said that it cannot change fuel prices on a knee-jerk basis. "The government cannot change fuel pricing on a knee-jerk basis. The government will not interfere in the day-to-day functioning of the OMCs... for the last three years, the pricing mechanism has been linked to the market," he had said in September.
The government, in June, implemented the policy of daily fuel price revision by oil-marketing companies.