Fuel prices rise for 12th consecutive day

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Mr. Chidambaram's tweets come on a day when the Ministry of Petroleum is likely to meet the oil companies to discuss the issue of regular increase in the prices of petrol and diesel since May 12.

Petrol prices are at an all-time high in the Indian cities and so is the case with diesel. This is happening because the petrol and diesel prices are broadly determined on the basis of crude oil price in the worldwide market and on the rupee-dollar exchange rates.

Another option before the government is to convince the states on bringing petrol and diesel under the GST regime.

"A task force is already working on reducing the fuel prices".

Modi government's accountability is far greater than the previous UPA government because during the fag end of Manmohan Singh's second term, the global oil prices had touched $150 a barrel, nearly double than today's prices.

Pump prices of petrol and diesel in India surged to a record high on Thursday, raising pressure on the government to find a solution to provide relief to consumers without taking a hit on its finances.

"It is possible to cut up to Rs. 25 per litre, but the government will not".

As per Indian Oil Corporation's price build-up data for fuels, the total tax component charged from consumers stands at 52 per cent for petrol and 42 per cent for diesel. Basically, the problem is "taxes" which are imposed by the government on petrol and diesel. In addition to it, states have Value-Added Tax the rates of which vary from state to state. After moving to daily revision of fuel prices in June last year, the government had cut basic excise duty on petrol and diesel by Rs 2 per litre in October last year.

"We have said that the state would be ready to bring the petroleum products under GST regimen". For obvious reasons, the government kept fuel prices in check during the Karnataka assembly elections but prices have started shooting up as soon as the polls were over.

Just four of them-Maharashtra, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh-reduced rates while others including BJP-ruled ones ignored the call.

Prices are highest in Mumbai, with the fuel being sold at Rs 84.99 per litre, followed by Chennai at Rs 80.11, and Kolkata at Rs 79.83. Currently, petrol is taxed at a little over 100 percent and for diesel, the taxes come at around 66.48 percent.

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