- Petrol prices at Rs 89.54 per litre in Mumbai, diesel at Rs 78.42
- No respite from central taxation visible in near future
The fuel prices across the country have scaled all-new heights breaking the previous records by a country mile. The hike in prices is primarily due to the increase in global crude prices over the past six months and the momentous slide of the rupee against the US dollar over the past couple of months.
Fuel prices have increased by over 15 per cent over the past year with the common man feeling the pinch. When the crude prices were at their lowest, the central government increased excise duties consecutively with an aim of reducing the fiscal deficit, taking advantage of the low prices. The increase in central taxation led to the subsequent increase in local prices as the state taxes are calculated as a percentage of the price after central taxation.
While a few states have reduced the state taxation to stave the burden, the centre hasn’t shown any intent, especially since the depreciating rupee has disturbed the fiscal calculations. The High Court in Delhi will hear an application seeking the disclosure of the formula that gives us the retail prices every day. The petitioner seeks the formula to see if the government can work out a fair price for the people of the country so that the pinch of the high prices becomes a little bearable.