Transportation gets costlier for Delhi residents

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CNG price hikeResidents of Delhi will now be forced to shelve more money on transportation. While diesel prices touched an all-time high of Rs. 64.58 per litre, petrol prices hit a four-year high of Rs. 73.73 a litre.

CNG prices in Delhi have also been revised from April 2, and increased to Rs. 40.61 per kg, while the PNG prices have been hiked to Rs. 27.14 per scm (including VAT), media reports said.

The jump in CNG/PNG prices, however, would have a marginal impact on the per km running cost of vehicles.

For autos, the increase would be 2 paise per km, for taxi it would be 4 paise per km and in case of buses, the increase would be 26 paise per km, reported ANI.

State-owned oil firms, which have been since June last year revising auto fuel prices daily, today raised petrol and diesel rates by 18 paise per litre each in Delhi, according to a price notification.

The Oil Ministry had earlier this year sought a reduction in excise duty on petrol and diesel to cushion the impact rising international oil rates but Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in his Budget presented on February 1 ignored those calls, the reports said.

India has the highest retail prices of petrol and diesel among South Asian nations as taxes account for half of the pump rates, a PTI report highlighted.

Jaitley had raised excise duty nine times between November 2014 and January 2016 to shore up finances as global oil prices fell, but then cut the tax just once in October last year by ₹2 a litre.

Subsequent to that excise duty reduction, the Centre had asked states to also lower VAT but just four of them—Maharashtra, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh—reduced rates while others including BJP-ruled ones ignored the call.

The central government had cut excise duty by ₹2 per litre in October 2017, when petrol price reached ₹70.88 per litre in Delhi and diesel ₹59.14. Because of the reduction in excise duty, diesel prices had on October 4, 2017 come down to ₹56.89 per litre and petrol to ₹68.38 per litre.

However, a global rally in crude prices pushed domestic fuel prices far higher than those levels, reported PTI.

The October 2017 excise duty cut cost the government ₹26,000 crore in annual revenue and about ₹13,000 crore during the remaining part of the current fiscal year.

The government had between November 2014 and January 2016 raised excise duty on petrol and diesel on nine occasions to take away gains arising from plummeting global oil prices.

In all, duty on petrol rate was hiked by ₹11.77 per litre and that on diesel by ₹13.47 a litre in those 15 months that helped government’s excise mop up more than double to ₹242,000 crore in 2016–17 from ₹99,000 crore in 2014–15, media reports pointed out.