Too little, too late, says Opposition on fuel price cut

Good news! Fuel prices slashed by Rs 2.50

After months of torturing the general public with soaring fuel prices, Finance Minister Arun Jaitely on Thursday announced a petty reduction of Rs 2.5 per litre on both diesel and petrol prices across the country.

Govt cuts taxes on diesel and petrol by ₹1.50 per litre and asks state-run oil marketing companies to cut prices by ₹1 per litre. When the global crude oil prices were at a historic low, the government continued to collect higher taxes on fuel, a strategy that in part helped it lower the fiscal deficit to 3.5% of GDP in the latest fiscal year.

The state and and the Centre's decision collectively resulted in a drop in petrol prices by around Rs 4.37 per litre, against the promised Rs 5 per litre, from 6 AM on Friday in Maharashtra, which had been reeling under the highest fuel prices anywhere in the country.

The Communist Party of India- Marxist (CPI-M) led Left Democratic Front government in Kerala on Thursday, 4 October ruled out slashing the cess on petrol and diesel to match the Centre's announcement in fuel price cut.

The new fuel prices would be effective in the state from this midnight, an official spokesman said.

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"We have authorised the oil marketing companies to raise $10 billion through foreign currency oil bonds", he added.

"The government's move is positive as it will placate prices and inflation, said rating agency Care". PM Modi expressed concerns over rising fuel prices in the season of Rabi crops.

This reduction in petrol prices was needed, as Maharashtra recently breached Rs 90 per litre mark, and speculations were rife that the price of petrol will soon touch Rs 100. The total price cut in these states is now Rs 5 per litre. HPCL shares fell 14.7% to Rs 214.40, BPCL was down 17.08% at Rs 313 and Indian Oil dived 14.23% to Rs 134.95. Now, people would get some relaxation as the price has decreased from Rs 2.50 to Rs 5 on Friday. Global fuel prices, however, have been on the rise with the worldwide benchmark Brent crude nearing a four-year high of $86 per barrel earlier this week.

Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi said his government has not received any letter from Jaitley on the matter, ANI reported. However, in Mumbai, the diesel have gone up by 7 paise only. States saw their Value-Added Tax revenue from petro goods rise from Rs 1,37,157 crore in 2014-15 to Rs 1,84,091 crore in 2017-18.

Speaking generally about the Indian economy, Jaitley said that the government has cut down on its borrowing this year and that oil companies have been authorised to raise money internationally with the help of oil bonds. "So the impact will be Rs 10,500 crore in current fiscal which is only 0.05 per cent of fiscal deficit".

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