Central government cuts fuel prices by Rs 2.50 a litre in India

Central government cuts fuel prices by Rs 2.50 a litre in India

Both petrol and diesel were settled at Rs 88.97 a litre and Rs 81.99 a litre respectively. According to reports, Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy said that the state government will not reduce prices anymore since it has already announced a rate cut. 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.

The state and and Centre's decision collectively resulted in a drop in petrol prices by around Rs 4.37/litre, against the promised Rs 5/litre, from 6 a.m. on Friday in Maharashtra, which had been reeling under the highest fuel prices anywhere in the country. "After the cut in petrol and diesel prices, let's pray to have elections every month or perhaps every week", one tweet said.

He also asked state governments to follow suit by cutting a sales tax or VAT by a similar amount.

The decisions were taken at a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to review the prevailing economic issues.

In a major relief for consumers, the government on Thursday reduced excise duty on petrol and diesel by Rs 1.50 per litre and said the oil marketing companies (OMC) will absorb the impact to the tune of Re 1 per litre.

Other pump owners expressed apprehensions that with the reduction in Value-Added Tax on petrol in Maharashtra, diesel prices will gradually catch up with petrol if immediate relief is not provided.

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Jaitley said the move followed Brent crude oil touching four-year high of Dollars 86 a barrel Wednesday and interest rates in United States reaching seven-year high.

Addressing mediapersons in New Delhi, Congress spokesman Randeep Singh Surjewala called the cut "a panic reaction in the face of public anger" ahead of assembly polls in four states.

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"And reducing oil prices, if you say is good politics, so be it", said Mr Jaitley.

At the same time, the Finance Minister has urged all states to contribute Rs 2.5 from their side, and make the overall reduction as Rs 5.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, who made the announcement, pegged the excise duty cut impact at Rs 10,500 crore.

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