The Kerala government today decided to reduce petrol and diesel prices in the state by Re 1 per litre from June by slashing sales tax.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said the government decided to bring down the fuel price to give some relief to the people, who were reeling due to the daily hike in fuel prices. Reduction in price would mean a loss of Rs 509 crore per year to the state exchequer, the Vijayan told reporters. The new price will come into effect from this Friday, he said.
The decision to reduce fuel prices was taken despite the state facing severe fianancial difficulties, the chief minister said. The Centre must take a cue from the state and bring down the the fuel prices as it is causing severe hardship to the common man, he added.
Kerala Finance minister Thomas Isaac said this was the Left Democratic Front government's second anniversary gift to the people. In a tweet, he said “the sales tax on petrol reduced by 1.69 percent and diesel by 1.75 percent in Kerala”.
Oil retailers had raised fuel prices for sixteen days in a row after following a nineteen-day freeze in the run up to the Karnataka assembly election. This was even the rally in global crude oil prices had halted. Earlier in the day, Indian Oil Corporation Ltd. cut fuel prices by 1 paisa across the country.