For the first time in India, the price of regular petrol crossed the ₹100 per litre mark in Rajasthan on Wednesday after fuel rates were hiked for the ninth day in a row. The price reached ₹100.13 in Rajasthan’s Sri Ganganagar, according to Indian Oil Corporation’s website.
Following today’s price revision, petrol in the national capital is now retailing at Rs 89.54 a litre while diesel is selling at Rs 79.95. In the financial capital Mumbai, petrol price now stands at Rs 96.00 while diesel costs Rs 86.98.
Fuel prices vary from state to state and taxes are levied on them by both central as well as the state governments. Rajasthan, which levies the highest VAT on fuel in the country, had the highest petrol and diesel prices. Late last month, it had cut VAT on petrol and diesel by 2 per cent.
Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot in the state assembly on Monday blamed the Centre for not reducing taxes. He said by reducing VAT on fuels by 2% the state government will lose annual tax revenues of close to Rs 1,000 crore.
Sunit Bagai, president of Rajasthan Petroleum Dealers’ Association, said during the lockdown period, the state government had increased VAT on petrol and diesel by 6% each. Bagai said that now that VAT revenues from fuels have crossed last year’s levels, the government should bring down VAT which is still high in the country.
The high fuel prices are making goods costlier at a time when people have suffered erosion in their income due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We urge both the Centre and the state to reduce taxes and keep the prices between Rs 70-80 per litre. They can make tax adjustments by raising taxes when crude price is lower and vice versa” said Suresh Agarwal, president of Federation of Rajasthan Trade and Industry.
Agarwal said high fuel prices offer incentive to people residing border areas to buy from Punjab, Gujarat, Haryana, UP, and Delhi.
Rates are highest in Sriganganagar compared to other cities in the state because of transportation cost as the fuel is supplied from Jodhpur and Jaipur depots.