The Kerala government on Wednesday decided to slash the state taxes on petrol and diesel effectively bringing down the prices on Thursday. On the other hand, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS), too, decided to fight the rising oil prices and announced an offer on the birth anniversary of party chief Raj Thackeray.
In Kerala, the prices of fuel will come down by Re 1 starting Thursday or Friday.
Since fuel is the third-biggest revenue-earner for the state, Finance Minister Thomas Issac said that Kerala will incur a loss of Rs 500 crore due to the tax reduction.
At the time of the announcement, price of petrol in Thiruvananthapuram was Rs 82.61 and diesel was priced at Rs 75.19.
The decision taken by the Kerala government comes amid a series of fuel price rises for the last 16 days, which has affected hundreds of thousands of people in the country.
The Centre is under pressure to reduce the fuel prices. Opposition parties have slammed the government for failing to keep the prices in check.
On the other hand MNS reportedly announced that petrol will be provided to bikers at a discount of Rs 4 per litre on the market price in Mumbai and around 36 assembly constituencies in Maharashtra on 14 June – the birthday of the party’s chief Raj Thackeray.
Reports say that one petrol pump in every constituency will provide petrol at the discounted rates. The difference will be paid by MNS.
The party intends to kill two birds with one stone with this unique move. While the primary objective is to protest the price rise, the MNS also expects to woo young and the middle class segment.
Thackeray has been objecting to the Centre’s decision for a long time, even before Uddhav Thackeray of Shiv Sena turned into a critic. Recently, Raj Thackeray had taken a jibe at BJP president Amit Shah with a cartoon on the outcome of the Karnataka assembly elections.
Meanwhile, the government on Wednesday reduced oil prices by one paisa only. Social media erupted with memes on what the users called “a cruel joke” by the Indian Oil Corporation (IOCL) – the state-owned oil and gas company.
In a statement, IOCL said, “The reduction was supposed to be 1 paisa but due to a clerical error the price prevalent on May 25 was communicated as today’s price.” The statement was issued after the oil major erroneously informed about a 60 paisa cut.
“There was a technical glitch in posting the selling prices of petrol and diesel on our website today. The selling prices of petrol and diesel w.e.f. (with effect from) May 30, 2018 have been rectified on our website,” a spokesperson with company said, adding: “Today, there is a minor reduction in fuel prices.”
The cut comes after 16 consecutive day of price increase since May 14 when fuel retailers ended the pre-Karnataka poll hiatus. For 19 days there were no movement in prices of both the fuels.
This cut in price, contrasts against nearly Rs 4 per litre rise during 14-29 May, with daily hike in prices varying around 15-30 paise a litre.
In Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai and Chennai petrol prices on Wednesday were at Rs 78.42, Rs 81.05, Rs 86.23 and Rs 81.42 per litre respectively, all prices down one paise from Tuesday, according to the revised data on the IOC website.
In tandem with the trend in petrol, diesel prices on Wednesday were at Rs 69.50, Rs 71.85, Rs 73.78 and Rs 73.17 per litre in Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai and Chennai respectively, again declining by one paise in the four cities.
Further fall in domestic fuel prices is expected as crude oil prices internationally eased recently.