Fuel prices hit three-year high

Fuel prices hit three-year high

Petrol and diesel prices on Tuesday hit their highest level in over three years following which the petroleum ministry has sought a cut in Excise Duty.

Petrol sold costliest in Mumbai at Rs 80.25 per litre, followed by Kolkata and Chennai at above Rs 75 a litre.

In Bengaluru, petrol was Rs 73.52 and in Delhi, it cost Rs 72.38 per litre. The rates are highest since March 2014.

Petrol prices have jumped by Rs 3.30 per litre since mid-December.

Diesel, too, sold costliest in Mumbai at Rs 67.30 per litre followed by Chennai at Rs 66.64, Kolkata at Rs 65.86 and Bengaluru at Rs 64.26. In Delhi, Diesel rates jumped Rs 63.20 per litre, rising by Rs 4.86 a litre since mid-December.

The petroleum ministry in its pre-Budget memorandum has sought a cut in Excise Duty but the finance ministry has not reacted so far.

The finance ministry, which raised Excise Duty nine times between November 2014 and January 2016, when the petroleum prices were much lower in the international market, had said it would provide a cushion to the consumers when the prices go up.

Petrol and diesel prices have been on a continuous rise since the past month but the ministry has not reacted. It, however, cut the duty only once by Rs 2 in October last year.

The prices of the two commodities had touched their three-year high on Sunday last prompting the Congress to raise its pitch for bringing it under the GST regime.

Former finance minister P Chidambaram had in a series of tweets said that the government was "anti-consumer".

Crude prices are continuously on the rise since the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec), along with non-Opec members such as Russia, last year decided on production cuts of 1.8 million barrels of oil per day.

The Brent crude is currently trading at $70 per barrel in the global market.

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