Mumbaikars in distress as petrol, diesel prices touch new high

Mumbaikars are facing problems as the petrol and diesel prices today touched historic high. The prices in the morning were seen to have touched Rs 84.70/litre for petrol and diesel Rs 72.48/litre in Mumbai. Locals told ANI, ‘petrol & diesel prices are increasing every week. Prices here are much higher than other states. How are we supposed to survive in this situation.’

According to one estimate, excise duty on petrol has gone up by 105.49 percent while on diesel it has shot up by over 240 percent. Interestingly, the only time duties were cut was by Rs 2 per litre last October in the run-up to the assembly elections in Gujarat. As against this, the excise on jet fuel as a component of price was just 14%.

The gap between petrol and diesel prices has also narrowed to such an extent that it no longer makes sense to buy a diesel vehicle. Diesel set a new record across the country on Monday: In Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, and Chennai, diesel was selling at Rs 67.82, Rs 70.37, Rs 72.21 and Rs 71.59 per litre, respectively. The carriers of public transport run mostly on diesel and the impact on the inter-state movement of perishable and imperishable commodities can well be imagined.

With the price of global crude going through the roof, the only way to scale down prices is a reduction in taxes. But, for a long time, the Centre has been conveniently taking the plea that states need to bring down their own taxes to make the fuels cheaper. But it is apparent the states are not willing to oblige given the booty that flows into their coffers.


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