Thursday, 13 December, 2018


As BJP States Follow Centre in Cutting Fuel Prices, Kerala Refuses

Shares of oil marketing companies fell after finance minister Arun Jaitley said that the government has asked the companies to absorb Rs 1 cut on fuel prices As BJP States Follow Centre in Cutting Fuel Prices, Kerala Refuses
Conrad Doyle | 06 October, 2018, 10:25

A day after the Centre announced a cut of Rs 2.50 per litre in the prices of petrol and diesel, Bihar CM Nitish Kumar on Friday evening announced reduction in Value-Added Tax worth Rs 2.52 on petrol and Rs 2.55 on diesel per litre with effect from 6am on Saturday.

The decision was taken during a closed-door meeting between the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Jaitley and petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan.

After lowering sales tax/VAT charged on petrol following Centre's decision, Maharashtra government on Friday also reduced the diesel price by Rs 1.56 per litre. BJP-ruled Gujarat, Tripura and Chhattisgarh governments have also announced a similar reduction in oil prices.

"Instead of asking the states to cut the levy by another Rs 2.50, the government should have effected meaningful reduction", it said.

The new fuel prices would be effective in the state from this midnight, an official spokesman said. In Mumbai, the prices of petrol and diesel rose to Rs 87.15 per litre and Rs 76.75 per litre respectively.

The petrol and diesel prices have resumed the ascending trend today.

The RBI said that the state-owned oil companies can raise external commercial borrowings (ECBs) for working capital with minimum average maturity of 3-5 years and they don't have to mandatorily hedge all ECBs. Now the OMCs (oil marketing companies) have been asked to absorb only Re 1. Auto fuel prices in these states are expected to go down by Rs 5 per litre. Diesel prices in Chennai increased by 22 paise to Rs 79.79 a litre and by 20 paise to Rs 77.30 per litre in Kolkata. Brent crossed $86 per barrel and this is the highest in the last four years. Jaitley expressed confidence in maintaining the fiscal deficit target for the current financial year despite the reductions. "If the government wishes to stick to its glidepath of fiscal consolidation, then it will have to cut its expenditures significantly", said Rupa Rege Nitsure, chief economist at L&T Finance Holdings.

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