Delhi: The prices of petrol and diesel were kept unchanged for the seventh day in a row. At present, petrol is retailing at a price of Rs 74.63 per litre in Delhi, Rs 77.32 per litre in Kolkata, Rs 82.48 per litre in Mumbai and Rs 77.43 per litre in Chennai, according to Indian Oil Corporation.
On Tuesday, the diesel prices are at Rs 65.93 per litre, Rs 68.63 per litre, Rs 70.2 per litre and R. 69.56 per litre. Meanwhile, shattering the common man’s hope, the government on Monday made it clear that it has not been considering cutting excise duty on petrol and diesel yet as rates have not touched levels that could trigger such an action.
State oil firms have not revised petrol and diesel price for almost a week now. This comes after the prices of petrol hit a 55-month high of Rs 74.63 a litre and diesel rates climbed to a record high of Rs 65.93.
In an interview to PTI, Economic Affairs Secretary Subhash Chandra Garg said oil prices can impact the government’s fiscal maths if they result in a spike in rates of domestic cooking gas (LPG) – the only commodity that is subsidised now.
“Otherwise there is no direct subsidy any longer,” he said. “Indirect subsidy/impact comes, if crude oil prices reach a certain level (and) there might by some rethink about excise duty etc. That’s not happened so far.”
Asked if there is any thinking of cutting excise duty or asking PSU oil firms to hold rates till elections in Karnataka, he said, “We have not seen anything (on it).” The central government levies Rs 19.48 a litre of excise duty on petrol and Rs 15.33 per litre on diesel. State sales tax or VAT vary from state to state. In Delhi, VAT on petrol is Rs 15.84 and Rs 9.68 a litre on diesel.
The government is hoping that geopolitical tensions would ease and US shale oil would help ease oil prices that are near three-year high. “Fundamental reasons, to my mind, don’t exist for oil prices to go up further from both demand and supply situation,” Garg said.
The recent spurt may have been because of stock drawdowns, trade tensions and geopolitics around Syria and Korea.
Meanwhile, oil prices rose on Monday after Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Iran had lied about pursuing nuclear weapons after signing a 2015 deal with global powers, while U.S. stocks fell with declines in healthcare shares.Netanyahu said Iran had continued to preserve and expand its nuclear weapons knowledge after the deal.
US President Donald Trump has until May 12 to decide whether to restore sanctions on Iran that were lifted after the 2015 agreement over its nuclear program.