Hartal byte: Kerala has higher fuel prices than metros

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Amid the Opposition-sponsored nation-wide shutdown, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Monday released a couple of graphics describing the percentage hike in both petrol and diesel prices.

The Bharat Bandh called by the Congress and Left on Monday against rising fuel prices and tumbling rupee evoked mixed response in the country as the opposition closed its ranks against the Modi government. Till May 31, when the LDF government effected a slight cut in the sales tax on petrol and diesel, Kerala's was the sixth highest sales tax levy on both petrol and diesel. The percentage increase was 20.5. Diesel prices in the three cities were also raised today to Rs 77.47, Rs 75.82 and Rs 77.13 per litre, respectively.


So where exactly has the price of petrol hit the Rs 90 mark?

Naidu, who has been mounting pressure on the centre to reduce the fuel prices for a while, said going by the indicators the petrol and diesel prices may soon hit Rs 100 a litre and the Rupee value may fall to Rs 100 against the U.S. dollar.


The fuel rates have been on fire since mid-August, rising nearly every day due to a drop in rupee value and rise in crude oil rates. Since 1 August, petrol prices have risen by Rs 4.56 per litre and diesel prices have risen by Rs 5.15 a litre in the national capital, on the back of a depreciating Rupee against the dollar and an increase in global fuel prices. Petrol in Mumbai scaled to Rs 88.12, up 23 paise, while diesel was priced at Rs 77.32, up 23 paise, on Monday.

AIMTC's Gupta adds, "If they wish they can make our lives easier, now the small farmers are failing to cope with the price revisions every day, we are heavily reliant on this fuel, the changing prices not being put under a uniform ambit are hurting us the most, there has to be a rollback urgently". Because the price is built up by excessive taxes on petrol and diesel.


Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje announced a four-percent reduction in value-added tax (VAT) on petrol and diesel, which will reduce their prices by Rs 2.5 per litre in the state. Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan also attributed the hike in fuel prices mainly to rupee depreciation. Since May 2014, the excise duty on petrol has seen a skyrocketing increase of 211%, while the duty on diesel has seen an increase of 443%.

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