State-run oil marketers hiked petrol and diesel prices for the ninth day in a row, adding to the burden of consumers dealing with record prices.
The price of petrol was hiked by 30 paise today to Rs 84.4 a litre in Mumbai and diesel was raised by 27 paise to Rs 72.21 a litre, according to data released by Indian Oil Corporation Ltd. The price hike is in line with rising oil prices. Brent crude rose 0.9 percent on Monday to close at $79.22 a barrel.
Oil marketing companies have been revising auto fuel prices daily since June last year. The latest series of increases resumed on May 14, after a 19-day freeze in the run-up to the Karnataka elections.
The opposition party leaders and industry experts have requested the government to cut taxes to control petrol and diesel prices.
“The government should have rolled back the excise duty hikes undertaken when crude oil prices were lower,” Kerala Finance Minister Thomas Isaac told BloombergQuint in an interview.
The central government were calibrating their excise upwards to mop the entire benefit of falling crude prices. Now they can do the reverse and prices would be stable again.Thomas Isaac, Finance Minister, Kerala
Industry association Ficci’s President Rashesh Shah also said that the government should reduce excise duties. Shah added that the central government should also work with states to bring petroleum products under the Goods and Services Tax regime, according to a report by news agency PTI.
Industry body Assocham’s Secretary General DS Rawat concurred. “While a cut in excise duty on petrol and diesel may provide temporary relief to consumers, the sustainable solution lies in the automobile fuel coming under GST, which can happen only after the Centre and states together reduce their dependence on the fuel considerably,” Rawat told PTI.
Brent crude hit $80 a barrel on Thursday, the highest level since 2014. Production cuts imposed by an agreement between the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and Russia, as well as shrinking supplies from Venezuela have contributed to the rise in oil prices. The latest spike came on the back of the U.S.’ decision to exit the nuclear deal with Iran and reimpose trade sanctions on the OPEC member nation.
Brent crude traded 0.2 percent higher at $79.4 per barrel as of 9:30 a.m.