Diesel price in Mumbai soars to all-time high, stokes fear and worry
State-owned oil firms have been revising fuel prices every day since October 2017, after the Centre decided to decontrol fuel pricesUpdated: Aug 29, 2018 00:40 IST
After rising continuously for a fortnight, the price of diesel in Mumbai hit an all-time high of ₹73.90 per litre on Tuesday while petrol was selling for ₹85.47 per litre, just 77 paise short of its all-time high price, leaving transporters and commuters all the more worried.
On Tuesday, the diesel price went up by 16 paise from ₹73.74 per litre while the cost of petrol increased by 14 paise from ₹85.33 per litre. The prices of both the fuels, however, have been steadily increasing from August 15. Since then, diesel prices have gone up by 94 paise per litre, whereas petrol prices have seen an upsurge of 89 paise per litre.
Earlier, the highest rate of fuel prices in Mumbai was recorded on May 29 when diesel was sold at ₹73.79 per litre, while petrol at ₹86.24 per litre, owing to production curbs by the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and high global demand. Thereafter fuel prices showed some decline. In the past three months, the lowest price at which the diesel and petrol were sold was ₹71.49 per litre and ₹82.94 per litre respectively.
State-owned oil firms have been revising fuel prices every day since October 2017, after the Centre decided to decontrol fuel prices. The oil ministry had sought a reduction in excise duty on petrol and diesel to cushion the impact of rising international oil rates but the government did not act on it.
Maharashtra has high fuel prices owing to a 25% value-added tax (VAT) on petrol in Mumbai, Thane, Navi Mumbai, and 26% in the rest of the state, in addition to a surcharge of ₹9 per litre across the state. For diesel, the VAT is 21% in Mumbai, Thane and Navi Mumbai, and 22% in rest of the state, with a surcharge of ₹1 per litre across the state.
“The people will get some relief if the government brings fuel prices under the ambit of Goods and Services Tax (GST),” said Uday Lodh, leader of Federation Of All Maharashtra Petrol Dealers Association. “Several luxury items have less tax than fuel which is necessary for people’s daily livelihoods.”
Transporters said with the increased prices, the burden would be eventually passed down to end consumers and result in inflation if the government did not intervene. “With increased diesel prices, operating costs have gone up and profit margin down. Now it is becoming impossible to sustain the losses,” said Harsh Kotak, a transporter from Mumbai.
First Published: Aug 29, 2018 00:18 IST