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18 Jun 2024, Edition - 3262, Tuesday

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After 16 days of hike, fuel prices down today: Petrol at Rs 77.83, diesel at Rs 68.75 in Delhi

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After constant hike for 16 days, fuel prices are marginally down today with petrol by 60 paisa to Rs 77.83 and diesel by 56 paisa to Rs 68.75 in Delhi.

Today’s petrol price in Kolkata is Rs 71.30, down by 56 paisa; in Mumbai Rs 73.20, lower by 59 paisa and in Chennai Rs 72.58, down by 60 paisa. Diesel too has come down by 56 paisa to Rs 68.75 in Delhi.

Petrol and diesel prices vary from state to state due to local taxes. On Tuesday, the fuel prices touched an all-time high due to spike in international crude oil.

However, international crude prices were down on Tuesday after Saudi Arabia and Russia said that they were ready to ease supply curbs that have pushed crude prices to their highest since 2014. Last year, the organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and Russia decided to cut the supply to tighten the market and prop up the prices after they (prices) had fallen to their lowest in more than a decade.

India sources about 86 per cent of crude oil, 75 per cent of natural gas and 95 per cent of LPG from OPEC member countries. In all, India imports 80 per cent of its crude oil requirement and any increase in prices in the global market leads to an increase in the price of petrol, diesel and LPG.

The public anger was rising over incessant price hike for over 15 days. The opposition parties and the farmers have threatened the government of protest if it does not cut the excise duty or bring the petroleum products under the GST. Currently, the Centre levies Rs 19.48 excise duty on petrol and Rs 15.33 on diesel. The government will lose Rs 10,725 crore revenue for every Rs 1 cut in central excise duty.

India has the highest retail prices of petrol and diesel among South Asian nations as taxes account for half of the pump rates.

The government has so far not taken any call on excise duty but mulling to impose a windfall tax on oil producers like ONGC as part of a permanent solution to rising prices of petrol and diesel. Once the policy is in force, the oil producers, who get paid international rates for the oil they produce from domestic fields, would have to part with any revenue they earn from prices crossing USD 70 per barrel mark. And the revenues collected from this would be used to pay fuel retailers so that they absorb spikes beyond the threshold levels.

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