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With surging fuel rates, Karnataka taxi and auto drivers demand increase in fares

Many autorickshaw drivers said they were not aware of display of tariff cards and continued to charge the earlier tariff. (HT FILE) (HT_PRINT)Premium
Many autorickshaw drivers said they were not aware of display of tariff cards and continued to charge the earlier tariff. (HT FILE) (HT_PRINT)

  • The prices for petrol and diesel in Bengaluru today stand at 94.2 and 86.35, respectively
  • According to reports, the central government is considering cutting excise duties on petrol and diesel to bring down the fuel rates

The taxi and autorickshaw drivers in Karnataka have urged the government to increase the fares as petrol and diesel prices sky-rocket across the country.

"Taxi and autorickshaw drivers' associations gave a proposal requesting to increase fare with the fuel price rise. The official committee has been called after three weeks to look into the matter. They will decide after discussion," said J Manjunath, the special commissioner of BBMP.

The prices for petrol and diesel in Bengaluru today stand at 94.2 and 86.35, respectively.

The petrol rates were last hiked on 27 February by 25 paise, while the diesel price increased by 16 paise on 26 February.

Tax cuts?

According to reports, the central government is considering cutting excise duties on petrol and diesel to bring down the fuel rates.

Taxes and duties account for roughly 60% of the retail price of petrol and diesel in India, the world's third-biggest consumer of crude oil.

As the coronavirus pandemic hit economic activity, Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government twice raised taxes on petrol and diesel in the last 12 months to boost sagging tax revenues.

The elevated taxes kept fuel prices up in India even though crude oil prices had crashed and stayed low for much of 2020.

RBI governor calls for Centre-state coordination

Reserve Bank of India governor Shaktikanta Das had last month emphasised the need for coordination between the Centre and state governments to reduce the indirect taxes on petrol and diesel.

"There is a need for coordinated action between the Centre and states to reduce taxes because there are indirect taxes levied by both of them," said Das.

He stated it is understood that the governments have their revenue pressures and require high sums of money to enable the country to come out of the Covid-19 stress. However, high retail rates of fuel will also have an impact on the cost of other products.

"Diesel and petrol prices do have an impact on the cost side. They play as a cost-push factor across a range of activities. It's not just that passengers who use cars and bikes. High fuel prices also have an impact on the cost of manufacturing, transportation and other aspects," said the RBI governor.

Das had had also called for reduced indirect taxes on petrol and diesel to contain the fuel prices at a reasonable level.



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