Here is one aspect that Left parties who are in the forefront of the nationwide hartal against the galloping fuel prices on Monday should ponder.
The surge in fuel prices is largely attributed to the rise in crude oil prices and high excise duty in the country.
Retail prices of petrol and diesel breached record levels on Monday with Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) raising rates by 23 paise per litre and 22 paise per litre for the two automobile fuels in the national capital.
Petrol prices went up by 39 paise per litre and Diesel prices saw an upward trend of 44 paise per litre in Delhi. A litre of petrol was being sold in New Delhi for Rs 80.87, in Kolkata for Rs 83.75, in Mumbai for Rs 88.26, and in Chennai for Rs 84.07, according to the largest fuel retailer, Indian Oil Corporation (IOC). It is also unclear how the party arrived at the particular height it used for the yellow bar in both cases (petrol and diesel). "Bharat bandh evokes good response in Chhattisgarh Congress" Bharat Bandh against rising fuel prices evoked a good response in the BJP-ruled Chhattisgarh where many business establishments remained shut in major cities including Raipur and buses stayed off roads. "If taxes are cut, prices will decline significantly". In Mumbai, a litre of petrol costs Rs 87.77 and diesel comes for Rs 76.98, the notification said. The cut was based on the prices prevailing on May 30.
The central government had raised excise duty on petrol by Rs 11.77 a litre and that on diesel by Rs 13.47 a litre in nine instalments between November 2014 and January 2016 to shore up finances as global oil prices fell, but then cut the tax just once in October previous year by Rs 2 a litre. Delhi charges a Value-Added Tax of 27 per cent on petrol and 17.24 per cent on diesel. The Narendra Modi government at the Centre has been under pressure to act on the economic front and bring fuel prices under control. After the BJP came to power, the impositions on fuel shot up over the years. The extra benefit accrued to states is Rs 3-4 per litre, he said. At the same time, the diesel prices too marched ahead and was priced at Rs 78.83 per litre. On this price, the state had imposed a total of Rs 21.84 as sales tax and dealer's commission.
The report pointed out that Maharashtra's state government collected Rs 25.82 per litre on petrol on April 1, which rose to Rs 27.24 per litre on September 3.