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Centre, BJP-ruled states cut fuel prices, Congress calls it panic reaction

Centre, BJP-ruled states cut fuel prices, Congress calls it panic reaction

Jaitley said he was confident of meeting the fiscal deficit target this year even though the Centre's revenue would decline by Rs 10,500 crore in 2018-19 because of the excise duty cut on fuel.

Kerala finance minister TM Thomas Issac said the Centre has reduced its tax on petrol by Rs 1.50 per litre after hiking it by Rs 9.

Gujarat CM Vijay Rupani said: "Finance Minister Sh @arunjaitley Ji has announced Rs.2.5 cuts in petrol & diesel prices, reciprocating positively to FM's announcement, the Govt Of Gujarat has also made a decision to reduce Rs.2.50 on both petrol & diesel".

Some states such as Gujarat, Chhattisgarh, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh, Assam and Maharashtra, ruled by Modi's BJP, cut their own taxes following the federal government's announcement. "The relief is insignificant and like a needle in haystack", party spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said daring the government to bring fuel prices to 2014 levels. However, India's domestic indicators are quite strong and stable. But growing public anger over surging fuel prices has caught the attention of the government. This will reduce the overall price by about Rs 5. However, the government had said that it had no role in the increasing prices of petrol and diesel.

Justifying the minimal relief in fuel prices, Jaitley said "We have to react to the situation and give relief without impacting the fiscal deficit". Prices have seen a similar hike in other cities as well.

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Maharashtra, Gujarat and the other BJP ruled states were quick to hear him.

Immediately after the announcement that Oil Marketing companies will absorb Rs 1 per litre as their contribution to make petrol/diesel cheaper, share prices of Indian Oil, HPCL and BPCL tanked by upto 11% in the share market.

Meanwhile, reports are coming in that Delhi, led by AAP will not cut Value-Added Tax on petrol and diesel.

However, the Congress hit out at the Modi government over what it described as a "meagre" reduction in excise duty on petrol and diesel, saying it is like applying a band-aid after inflicting a thousand wounds on the people of the country.

"When the prices go up the Centre receives a fixed amount per litre, whereas the revenue of states go up". The centre now levies a total of Rs 19.48 per litre of excise duty on petrol and Rs 15.33 per litre on diesel. Brent, the benchmark for more than half the world's oil, is trading at a four-year high of over United States dollars 84 per barrel.


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