BJP asks Odisha to cut Value-Added Tax on fuel

Arun Jaitley announces Rs 2.5 per litre cut in fuel prices

With a price hike of 24 paise, petrol in Delhi is now selling at Rs 81.74 per litre. Diesel prices went up by almost 30 paise and petrol prices increased by nearly 20 paise. Diesel prices in the city however saw an effective decline of 70 paise, falling to Rs 76.75 per litre.

Fuel prices in 12 states fell by Rs 5 per litre as the state governments agreed to cut a further Rs 2.50 per litre by reducing value-added tax (VAT) on the fuels.

This announcement came in after Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, announced marginal relief for citizens from runaway fuel prices with excise duty cut of Rs. 1.50 and another Re. The move to bring down domestic fuel prices came amid worldwide crude oil rates soaring to 2014 highs in the past few days.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi freed up the price of diesel in October 2014 after a decade or regulation, saying it would encourage competition among vehicle fuel retailers and enhance efficiency in oil company services. After continuously being on an ascent for over three months, the fuel prices are likely to witness a dip with effect from Thursday midnight. Gujarat government reduced petrol and diesel prices by Rs 2.50 per litre, while Maharashtra lowered petrol price by 2.50 per litre.

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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.

After Thursday's decision, ratings agency ICRA said in a report that oil marketing firms were likely to lose 72 billion rupees ($976 million) on fuel sales this fiscal year. Petrol prices in Bengaluru were at Rs 82.32, whereas rates for diesel were at Rs 73.61.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the excise duty cut would have an impact of Rs 10,500 crore on central government's tax revenues.

By lowering duties, the Narendra Modi government is borrowing a page from the rulebook of past governments that have lowered levies whenever worldwide oil prices shot up. This will reduce the overall price by about Rs 5.

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