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Centre slashes fuel prices by Rs 2.50 per litre, some BJP-ruled states follow suit

Maharashtra, UP, Goa, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Tripura announced a Rs 2.50 cut in VAT on the fuels

SNS | New Delhi |

With Assembly elections in several states round the corner, the government on Thursday slashed the petrol and diesel prices by Rs 2.50 per litre, a decision that was followed by several BJP-ruled states, giving an overall relief of Rs 5 per litre to the consumer.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley addressed a press conference and announced that the Centre’s decision will result in a revenue loss of Rs 10,500 crore in six months.

The minister said that the cut would be effected through slashing of excise duty to the tune of Rs 1.50 per litre on both petrol and diesel, while the oil marketing companies (OMCs) will absorb the impact to the tune of Rs one, taking the total relief to Rs 2.5 per litre.

As the central government also directed the states to follow the suit in slashing the prices, the BJP-ruled governments in Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Goa, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Tripura announced a Rs 2.50 cut in VAT on the fuels.

While Maharashtra effected the cut only on petrol, all other states did it on both fuels. Jharkhand, which had earlier announced a cut only on diesel, later applied to petrol as well.

The Kerala government, which had recently reduced VAT on the fuels, said it would not cut the tax now and asked the Centre to restore prices to 2014 levels before it can consider further cuts.

Last month, the governments of Karnataka, West Bengal, Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh had cut taxes on petrol and diesel.

The Goa government on Thursday announced reduction in the prices of petrol and diesel in the state by Rs 2.5 per litre by decreasing the Value Added Tax.

Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, who is being treated at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in Delhi, announced the price cut.

“Many thanks to PM @narendramodi ji for the #FuelPriceCut of Rs 2.50 per ltr. Goa government will further reduce fuel pries by Rs 2.50 in the state,” Parrikar tweeted.

The Arunachal Pradesh government has decided to cut fuel price with effect from Thursday midnight, an official statement said adding the consumers will get the benefit of a total relief of Rs 5 per litre.

Announcing the cut in fuel price in Tripura, Sanjoy Mishra, the media advisor to Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb, said it was being done to “honour the central government’s decision to provide respite to the common man”.

The Chhattisgarh’s BJP government reduced the value added tax (VAT) on diesel and petrol by Rs 2.5 per litre on Thursday.

“We are reducing 4 per cent VAT on both petrol and diesel, effectively reducing the price by Rs 2.5 per litre for petrol and diesel,” a state public relations department official said in a statement.

“The state will incur a loss of Rs 378 crore for the remaining period of this financial year because of this reduction,” he said.

Following the examples of other BJP-ruled states, Uttarakhand also announced a cut of Rs 2.50 a litre in the prices of diesel and petrol in the state, terming it as a relief to the common man.

“The decision to lower the prices of petrol and diesel which will take effect from the midnight of October 4 has been taken in public interest and involvean additionalexpenditure of Rs 325 crore out of the state exchequer,” Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat told reporters.

The total reduction of Rs 5 on each litre of petrol and diesel will help reduce the expenditure on transportation and the common man will be benefitted, he said.

In Maharashtra, the petrol has once again come under the 90 mark as it is being sold at 86.97 Rs per litre in Mumbai.

In Delhi, petrol is priced at Rs 81.50 per litre, while diesel will cost 72.95 per litre after the reduction of excise duty by centre.

(With inputs from agencies)