Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Sunday asked the Union government to further reduce excise duty on petrol and diesel, reported ANI.

“If the Centre reduces fuel prices, then it will be reduced in the states too,” Gehlot said. “We know that after elections are over in five states in 2022, fuel prices will start rising again.”

He said the Centre should promise that the fuel prices will not be increased in this way in future after the elections.

The Centre had slashed excise duty on petrol by Rs 5 and diesel by Rs 10 per litre. The new prices came to effect on November 4. Several states, most of them ruled by the Bharatiya Janata Party, had followed suit and further reduced their value added tax on fuel.

Rajasthan, however, did not announce any such cuts. Fuel is the costliest in Ganganagar town in Rajasthan due to freight charges and because of different value added tax levied by states.

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On Sunday, Gehlot said he will discuss about reducing the value added tax on petrol and diesel at a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday. “We will decide whatever is possible,” he said.

The chief minister said it was the first time since Independence that the country was facing such high inflation and blamed it on the policies of the BJP-led government.

Gehlot said the prices of petrol, diesel and liquified petroleum gas, or LPG, cylinders were increased continuously and then giving a Rs 5 and Rs 10 per litre reduction was insufficient to curb inflation.

He said every household has been affected by inflation.

“Be it the middle class or the poor, living has become difficult,” Gehlot said. “It has become difficult for women to run the kitchen.”

Fuel prices

Since the Centre’s reduction in excise duty on fuel, the prices of petrol and diesel have remain steady for the 12th consecutive day, according to India Today.

The price of petrol in Delhi was Rs 103.97 per litre and that of diesel was Rs 86.67 per litre. Petrol cost Rs 109.98 in Mumbai and diesel Rs 94.14 per litre.

In Kolkata, petrol was being sold at Rs 104.67 per litre and diesel at Rs 89.79 per litre. In Chennai, petrol cost Rs 101.40 and diesel Rs 91.43 a litre.