The fuel prices continued its northward march and set fresh highs on Tuesday morning, with the price of Petrol in New Delhi is Rs. 80.87, in Kolkata for Rs. 83.75, in Mumbai for Rs. 88.26, and in Chennai for Rs. 84.07, according to the largest fuel retailer, Indian Oil Corporation (IOC).
AP now levies around Rs 4 a litre of value added tax on petrol and diesel, earning around Rs 2,240 crore a year through state taxes on fuel. While a cut in excise duty that the central government levies will impact fiscal deficit, states like Bihar, Kerala, and Punjab are not in a position to cut sales tax (or VAT), the official, who wished not to be identified, said. Fuel prices in Delhi are the cheapest among all metros and most State capitals due to lower taxes.
While in Tamil Nadu, the strength of MTC and other state-run buses were affected as the trade unions affiliated to the opposition DMK and Left parties had yesterday announced that workers attached to their unions will not report to work. The nationwide bandh has been called by the Congress over rising fuel prices and depreciation of the rupee.
Making his first public appearance after returning from the Kailash Mansarovar pilgrimage, Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Monday led the Opposition charge against rising fuel prices and questioned Prime Minister Narendra Modi's silence on key issues such as the Rafale deal, unemployment, women's safety and farmers' suicides. They also burnt effigies of the Centre against the spiralling fuel prices.
While the Congress and other opposition parties claimed the bandh was a success, the BJP claimed it was a flop. The central government had raised excise duty on petrol by Rs 11.77 a litre and that on diesel by 13.47 a litre in nine installments between November 2014 and January 2016 to shore up finances as global oil prices fell, but then it cut the tax just once in October a year ago by Rs 2 a litre.More news: Watch Husband Ohanian’s Touching Celebration Of Serena’s Run To US Open Final
Manmohan Singh hit out at the BJP for "miserably" failing to control fuel prices.
While the Bharatiya Janata Party also claimed that the shutdown was "unsuccessful" because people understand the reasons why petrol and diesel prices were going up, the Congress termed the bandh as successful.
Law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Monday blamed Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) for the surge in worldwide prices of crude and said that the solution for the fuel price hike in not in government hands.
"The BJP strongly believes that despite some momentary difficulties, the people of India do not support this protest", he said.