Rising petrol, diesel prices: Parliamentary panel meeting today
A parliamentary committee is holding a meeting on Thursday on to discuss the rising prices of petrol and diesel. According to Lok Sabha website, the meeting of petroleum and natural gas standing committee is scheduled to take place at 11am. The panel us headed by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Ramesh Bidhuri.
The agenda listed on the website says that the committee will take oral evidence of representatives of the ministry of petroleum and natural gas, and oil marketing companies (OMCs) on the subject 'Pricing, Marketing and Supply of Petroleum Products including Natural Gas'.
The rising prices of petrol and diesel have hurt the common man badly. In the last 44 days, the prices of both the fuels have increased 25 times. While petrol has become costlier by ₹6.26 per litre, diesel has seen its price revised by ₹6.68 across the country since May 4.
Though the opposition has slammed the government for steep hike in the prices of the two fuels, and organised several protests, the government has so far not reduced the rates. In February, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman called the issue a ‘dharam sankat (dilemma)'. "There's is no hiding the fact that there is revenue there. It's not just me, you ask any state. There's revenue there," she said at an event. Last week, petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan accepted that the rising prices are probematic, but said they can't be brought down because the government is saving money to spend on welfare schemes.
Petrol in Delhi is now sold at ₹96.66 per litre and diesel at ₹87.41 a litre. The two fuels are selling at a much higher price in other cities because of variations in state taxes and local levies, crossing the ₹100-mark in some.
Sri Ganganagar district of Rajasthan near the India-Pakistan border was the first place in the country to see petrol hit ₹100 a litre mark in mid-February. Mumbai on May 29 became the first metro in the country where petrol was being sold at over ₹100 a litre.
In Delhi, central levies account for 34.8% of petrol’s price and state taxes, 23.08%, according to an official data of June 1. On diesel, central taxes are over 37.24% while state taxes are about 14.64%.
Oil companies revise rates of petrol and diesel daily based on the average price of benchmark fuel in the international market in the preceding 15 days, and foreign exchange rates. International oil prices have firmed in recent weeks in anticipation of demand recovery following the rollout of vaccination programme by various countries.
The OMCs did not increase the rates for 18 days during the assembly elections in four states and Union territory of Puducherry in April-May.