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After Centre’s excise duty cut, more BJP-ruled states slash petrol, diesel rates

By Saima Siddiqui 
Updated Date

New Delhi: A day after the central government reduced excise duty on fuel, as many as ten BJP-rules states – Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Karnataka, Goa, Assam, Tripura and Manipur – have also announced to reduce the Value Added Tax (VAT) on petrol and diesel in addition to Centre’s relief.

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Notably, on the eve of Diwali, the Centre reduced excise duty on petrol and diesel by ₹ 5 and ₹ 10 in an attempt to provide relief to people reeling under the impact of spiralling fuel prices. The price cuts will come into effect from today (Thursday), when the nation celebrates Diwali.

Where Assam, Tripura, Manipur, Karnataka and Goa reduced the prices of both petrol and diesel by ₹ 7 per litre, Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami on Wednesday said that the Value Added Tax (VAT) on petrol would be reduced by ₹ 2 per litre in the state.

“Following Hon’ble PM Shri @narendramodi Ji led central govt’s decision on reduction of excise duty on petrol & diesel. #Tripura govt has also decided to reduce petrol & diesel cost by ₹ 7 from tomorrow,” Biplab Deb, the Chief Minister of Tripura, tweeted on Wednesday.

Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jairam Thakur said his government would also reduce (VAT) on petrol and diesel.

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Haryana announced a reduction in VAT on petrol and diesel today, making them cheaper by ₹ 12 per litre in the state.

Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar tweeted: “On the occasion of Diwali, the central government has announced a reduction in prices of petrol and diesel. Taking it forward, the Haryana government has also reduced the rate of VAT on petrol and diesel in the state. Now, both petrol and diesel in entire Haryana will be cheaper by ₹ 12 per litre.”

Odisha’s ruling Biju Janta Dal – which has on several occasions extended its support to the BJP-led alliance NDA – also announced a VAT reduction of ₹ 3 per litre on both petrol and diesel. The new prices will come into effect from midnight of November 5. With this, diesel price per litre will go below ₹ 100, while petrol will be available at a little over ₹ 100.

The state will incur an annual loss of ₹ 1,400 crore due to the additional cuts, a statement issued by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s office said. This will be in addition to the loss of ₹ 700 the state will face due to the excise duty reduction by the central government, it added.

States had long urged the Centre to reduce VAT on petrol and diesel. Fuel prices have been climbing over the last few months. Petrol prices in some states had touched ₹ 120 per litre while diesel has crossed the ₹ 100 per litre-mark in three metros.

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The Opposition has been attacking the ruling BJP over rising prices of fuel. On November 1, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi tweeted in Hindi that one should beware of “pickpockets” along with the hashtag “tax extortion”.

Petrol was retailing at ₹ 110.04 per litre while diesel was being sold at ₹ 98.42 a litre in in Delhi on Wednesday. In Mumbai, petrol was at ₹ 115.85 per litre while diesel was at ₹ 106.62 per litre.

In Mumbai, petrol price has been cut by 5.87 to 109.98 per litre and diesel by 12.48 to 94.14 per litre. Kolkata saw the price of diesel being reduced by 5.82 to 104.67 per litre and that of diesel by 11.77 to 89.79 per litre.

Petrol price in Chennai has been reduced by 5.26 to 101.40 per litre and diesel by 11.16 to 91.43 per litre.

In recent months, crude oil prices have witnessed a global upsurge. Consequently, domestic prices of petrol and diesel skyrocketed in recent weeks. “Today’s decision is expected to further spur the overall economic cycle,” the Centre said in a statement.

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