ECONOMY
MAJOR RELIEF:
Petrol, diesel prices to reduce as Centre cuts excise duty
- TEAM PT
Petrol, diesel prices to reduce as Centre cuts excise duty



AFTER SO MUCH hue and cry in public about Petrol prices, Finance minister Arun Jaitely today has finally announced a Rs 2.5 cut in per litre price of diesel and petrol and has also asked the state governments to announce a matching reduction too. He again blamed rising crude oil prices in the international markets for the rise in fuel prices in India.
 
Under Jaitley's three-point plan, the cut in petrol and diesel prices may even extend to Rs 5 per litre.

The first aspect of this plan involves the Centre. The Centre is cutting the excise duty it charges on petrol and diesel by Rs 1.5 per litre.

The second aspect of the plan deals with Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) who will simultaneously take a Re 1 per litre hit on their revenue.

The third part of the plan involves the various state governments. Jaitley said that he will write to the different state governments asking them to reciprocate and reduce their taxes by a similar Rs 2.5 per litre.
 
What this means is that effectively, the prices of petrol and diesel will come down immediately by Rs 2.5 per litre. The price cut may go up to Rs 5 per litre in states that heed Jaitley's recommendation.
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Fuel prices have been on the rise since August 16 after the rupee dipped to its lowest value against the US dollar. The domestic unit hit a record low of 70.32 in early trade that day. 
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"This is perfectly good economics... we want consumers to spend money on other items also... to do it without impacting the fiscal deficit is surely good economics,” Jaitley announced after an inter-ministerial discussions with petroleum ministry.
 
The goverment has been under immense pressure to reduce oil prices. The cut, which comes ahead of assembly elections in five states — Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Telangana and Mizoram, will cost the exchequer for the remaining half of this financial year was Rs 10,500.

Jaitley said it will increase the buying power of consumers.
 
Fuel prices have been on the rise since August 16 after the rupee dipped to its lowest value against the US dollar. The domestic unit hit a record low of 70.32 in early trade that day. 
 
State-owned oil firms had in mid-June last year dumped the 15-year practice of revising rates on 1st and 16th of every month in favour of daily price revisions.​

Arun Jaitley and Dharmendra Pradhan had met on Wednesday evening amid concerns of high fuel prices adding to farmers' distress, particularly in the upcoming Rabi crops season, according to a PTI report.

The two ministers are believed to have discussed options to mitigate the impact of rising international oil prices and rupee dipping to new lows.
 
Speaking generally about the Indian economy, Jaitley said that the government has cut down on its borrowing this year and that oil companies have been authorised to raise money internationally with the help of oil bonds.
 
Jaitley added that the situation in the international market is uncertain and that our macroeconomic fundametals - especially on the inflation and fiscal front - are strong enough to bear any impact. 
 

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