Petrol Diesel
An employee fills a vehicle with petrol at a fuel station in New Delhi June 25, 2010 [Representational Image].Reuters File

Fuel prices are scaling new highs in the country almost on a daily basis. On Monday, the price of diesel in Mumbai reached Rs 68.08 per litre and petrol was available for Rs 80.71 per litre.

In New Delhi, the diesel was available for Rs 63.93 per litre while petrol for Rs 72.84 per litre. In Kolkata, petrol price is Rs 75.54 per litre and diesel price is Rs 66.60 per litre. In Chennai, diesel price is Rs 67.42 per litre and petrol is Rs 75.55 per litre.

According to the Times of India, petrol price has increased by Rs 2.09 per litre since January 1, while diesel price has increased by Rs 3.20 a litre. In October 2017, petrol was available for Rs 70.88 per litre in New Delhi and diesel was priced at Rs 59.14.

The skyrocketing fuel prices are also putting pressure on the NDA government. In Economic Survey 2018 released on Monday, the government noted the surge in oil prices as a major concern for the economy. 

To cool down the fuel prices, the government is likely to cut excise duty on petrol and diesel in the Union Budget 2018. The Petroleum and Natural Gas Ministry has also written to the Finance Ministry to bring down excise duty on petrol and diesel to give some relief to consumers. The Modi government has lowered the excise duty on petrol and diesel only once in its tenure and that was in October 2017. 

Also read: Will govt cut excise duty on fuels in Union Budget 2018?

The rise in fuel prices was in tandem with the rapid rise in international crude oil rates. Production curbs, high demand are the major reasons for the surge in crude oil prices. In the country, oil marketing companies are following dynamic pricing of auto fuels from June 16, 2017.

The fuel prices have been on the rise for the past one and a half month and the clamour for bringing fuel prices under Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime is increasing.

Currently, petrol and diesel do not come under the ambit of the GST. The fuel prices are lower in Goa than in other states. This is because of the differences in the VAT (Value Added Tax) imposed from state to state.