In Kolkata, the petrol price was Rs 83.35 per litre while that of diesel was Rs 74.80 this morning.
The reduction followed petrol and diesel prices touching new highs. Diesel prices in the city however saw an effective decline of 70 paise, falling to Rs 76.75 per litre.
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It has done so by slightly cutting the excise duty, a type of indirect tax, on imported diesel and petrol by ₹1.50 per litre and directing several state-run oil marketing companies to cut prices by a further ₹1 per litre on the sale of petrol and diesel.
Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala claimed it was a "panic reaction" by the government after facing public ire and an "imminent defeat" for the BJP in upcoming assembly elections in five states, and said the step will bring little relief to the people as it is like "reducing death sentence to life imprisonment". That's aimed at checking a rise in retail prices which hit new highs every day as the Brent crude surged 28 percent his year.
The decision was taken during a closed-door meeting between the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Jaitley and petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan. After continuously being on an ascent for over three months, the fuel prices are likely to witness a dip with effect from Thursday midnight. The states where the prices have been decreased are Gujarat, Chhattisgarh, Tripura, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Jammu and Kashmir and Goa, said reports. According to an official release, Value-Added Tax on petrol in state has been reduced from 26 per cent to 22.20 per cent, whereas it will be 15 per cent on diesel as against the earlier rate of 19 per cent.
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Another wondered: "Make me understand this: after fuel prices go up by Rs 20, they get cut by Rs 2 and we "celebrate"?"
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Jaitley said the total impact of Rs 1.50 cut in excise duty is about Rs 21,000 crore for full year and Rs 10,500 crore the reminder of current fiscal. Any further revenue loss, however, could widen the fiscal deficit.
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