In UP, petrol prices were higher in Sept 2013 and July 2014 than now
Petrol prices in Uttar Pradesh are not at an all-time high yet, although all-round protests would indicate otherwise.Updated: Sep 12, 2018 15:14 IST
Petrol prices in Uttar Pradesh are not at an all-time high yet, although all-round protests would indicate otherwise.
The consumer prices of petrol in Uttar Pradesh were higher in September 2013 and July 2014 than they are now, information available with the state commercial tax department here revealed.
The current consumer price (including base price, VAT and dealer’s margin) of petrol in UP (Lucknow) was Rs 80.66 per litre on September 10, the day ‘Bharat Bandh’ was observed against rising oil prices.
But, the petrol price was higher at Rs 83.17 per litre at the consumer end in UP between September 15 and 30, 2013 and Rs 81.11 per litre between September 1 and 15, 2013.
During the Lok Sabha election campaign in March 2014, petrol in the state was sold at Rs 80.54 per litre, which was only 12 paisa lower than the current price.
“The consumer price of petrol was higher vis-à-vis the current price in September 2013 and March 2014. In July 2014, petrol in the state was available at Rs 81.30 per liter,” people dealing with the issue in the commercial tax department said.
However, when fuel prices started falling in the country, the then state government in September 2015 fixed revenue share per litre regardless of price fluctuations.
Many states, according to sources, had adopted the same formula to protect their revenue which they were losing on account of decreasing oil prices.
“Under this formula also adopted by UP, the government got tax at the rate of 26.80 per litre or Rs 16.47 per litre, whichever was higher in case of petrol, and 17.48 per litre or Rs 9.41 per litre, whichever was higher in case of diesel,” they said.
They further said that while adopting the formula, the authorities had taken into account the fuel prices as applicable on July 1, 2014, which were the highest since the new government came to power at the Centre. This mechanism, however, prevented the full benefit of falling prices from reaching consumers though it did protect government’s revenue,” they pointed out.
Despite repeated increase in the prices recently, petrol and diesel in UP still cost less than most other states. The commercial tax department has identified around 20 states. Petrol and diesel are cheaper in UP than all but a few states, including Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Uttarakhand, and Punjab.
“Barring Chandigarh and Jharkhand, petrol is cheaper in UP and diesel is cheaper in Haryana, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh,” said sources.
This is probably the reason why UP might not cut VAT on petrol and diesel unlike Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh recently or by Gujarat and Maharashtra earlier. “The present government, like the previous regime, takes the plea that consumer price of diesel and petrol in UP is already lower than most other states” people familiar with the issue said.
First Published: Sep 12, 2018 15:14 IST