Tuesday, 19 June, 2018

Petrol prices rise for 14th straight day

Govt considers windfall tax on oil producers; ONGC drops 5% India trying to get resolution soon on rising fuel prices: oil minister
Elsie Buchanan | 28 May, 2018, 06:46

The prices rose to Rs 80.12 in Kolkata, Rs 85.29 in Mumbai and Rs 80.42 in Chennai, according to the Indian Oil Corporation.

A litre of diesel also increased from an average of 119.35p to 127.69p over the same period. "Public perceptions change fast and if the current price rise continues, it would be hard to tone down public anger and get their favour in the form of votes again", said an official of oil marketing firm not willing to be named.

At 2.26pm, ONGC shares were trading 8.26% lower at Rs161.05, while Oil India Ltd fell 9.78% to Rs208.

Interestingly, the hike came in the wake of marginal drop in price of crude oil in the global market.

While Odisha was collecting 26 per cent VAT on fuel, Goa was taking only 12 per cent, he added. But now under the NDA government for every litre of petrol the consumer has to pay more than 50 % of its value as Central and state government taxes.

The rises are blamed on an increase in oil prices to above $80 (£60) a barrel, combined with a poor exchange rate for the pound. Upstream oil companies can not bear more given the burden of a 20% cess on crude, while reduction in duty will hit the exchequer. It in 2012 raised the windfall tax threshold to $55 per barrel. "Besides, many other options are being explored for both short- and long-term solutions", Pradhan told media persons here.

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"Measures will have to be taken in coordination by the ministries of finance and oil".

In particular, resources have to be arranged for the National Health Protection Scheme (NHPS) that aims to provide health insurance cover of Rs5 lakh to every eligible household.

Prices of diesel and petrol in India have surged to a record high, stoking opposition criticism of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's administration for causing hardship to ordinary people.

The incessant rise in petrol and diesel prices has been mostly due to rise in crude oil prices and the high excise duty levied on transportation fuel. Petrol gained 14 paise while diesel saw hike of 17 paise.

The union minister said the central government had in October past year reduced the excise on fuel by Rs. 2 per litre keeping in view the interest of the poor people. The Centre's excise tax is much more than the state's tax. State sales tax or VAT varies from state to state.

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