Fuel rates continued to rise on Tuesday, with a litre of petrol now costing Rs 91.20 in Mumbai. It increased by Rs 0.12 from Monday, while the price of a litre of diesel increased by Rs 0.17 and now costs Rs 79.89.
A litre of petrol costs Rs 83.85 in Delhi, Rs 84.52 in Bengaluru, Rs 85.65 in Kolkata and Rs 87.18 in Chennai, according to the Indian Oil Corporation. Diesel is available for Rs 75.25 per litre in Delhi, Rs 75.64 in Bengaluru, Rs 77.10 in Kolkata and Rs 79.57 in Chennai.
Fuel prices have increased by over Rs 5 a litre since mid-August. The prices of petrol and diesel continued to rise due to the depreciation in the rupee’s value and a rise in international oil rates. The international benchmark Brent crude breached the $81 (Rs 5,899) a barrel mark by surging over 3% to trade at $81.28 (Rs 5,920) a barrel.
The prices are highest in Maharashtra due to the high Value Added Tax levied there. The Centre has ruled out any excise duty cuts in petrol and diesel prices but some states have reduced taxes on fuel. The Andhra Pradesh government announced a reduction of Rs 2 in the value-added tax on petrol and diesel while Vasundhara Raje’s Rajasthan government announced a reduction of 4%, or Rs 2.5, in value-added tax on petrol and diesel. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee announced a Re 1 reduction in the prices. Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy also announced a reduction in the cess on petrol and diesel in the state, bringing down their price by Rs 2 per litre.
On September 10, Opposition parties staged a nationwide shutdown to protest against the rise in fuel prices and decline in rupee’s value. The Congress called for the bandh, and claimed to have the support of 21 parties.
As the prices rise, the blame game has escalated. The Congress-led Opposition is putting pressure on the government to bring down taxes while the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party has blamed the massive bills of oil bonds and subsidies from the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance era for their inability to cut taxes now.