New Delhi: A day ahead of the Ganesh Chaturthi festival, petrol and diesel prices are now among the highest in Maharashtra across all states. Consumers are feeling the pinch as prices of essential commodities have shot up as a result of fuel costs.
Although the state-run oil companies did not raise prices today, petrol and diesel continue to be at all-time record highs. Across all states, Maharashtra pays the most for petrol because of a high VAT of 39.12% in Mumbai, Thane and Navi Mumbai, while the tax rate for the rest of the state is 38.11%.
At least three state governments have so far provided some respite to consumers by reducing VAT, which varies from state to state. Rajasthan has cut petrol and diesel prices by ₹ 2.5 per litre, Andhra Pradesh by ₹ 2 and West Bengal by Re 1.
In Mumbai, the price of petrol is ₹ 88.26 while the price of diesel is ₹ 77.47. Those living in Parbhani, 500 km away from Mumbai, are paying at least ₹ 90.02 per litre due to higher transportation costs. This is the highest known price for petrol in India.
However, private fuel retailers are charging a notch more than state-run ones like IOC, BPCL and HPCL.
In Delhi, petrol costs ₹ 80.87 and diesel ₹ 72.97. In Bengaluru, the price of petrol is ₹ 83.51 and that of diesel is ₹ 75.32. In Hyderabad, petrol costs ₹ 85.75 and diesel ₹ 79.37. In Chennai, petrol costs ₹ 84.05 and diesel ₹ 77.13. In Kolkata, petrol costs ₹ 83.75 and diesel ₹ 75.82.
The central government has already signalled that it will not cut excise duty, a key component of the retail price of fuel.
Global crude oil prices and the rupee’s exchange rate are to be blamed for rising fuel prices. US WTI crude futures are trading close to $70 a barrel while Brent crude futures are at $79.30 a barrel.
A falling rupee is increasing the cost of import of crude oil for India, which imports around 80% of its demand. The rupee is now just 10 paise away from the 73 mark against the US dollar.
In the meantime, the Delhi High Court has refused to intervene on the issue of fuel prices saying that daily change in prices of petrol and diesel was an “economic policy decision" of the central government and the courts must remain away from it.
Delhi-based designer Puja Mahajan had filed a PIL in the court challenging the daily rise in fuel rates and seeking a direction to the Centre to fix a fair price for petrol and diesel by treating them as essential commodities.