Petrol and diesel prices have been on a rise. On Monday the prices have increased by 10 paise per litre across Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata. The petrol prices have been at Rs74.50 per litre in Delhi- the highest level under the BJP-led government, while diesel rates touched a record high of Rs 65.75. Petrol prices are at Rs77.2 per litre in Kolkata, Rs82.35 per litre in Mumbai and Rs 77.29 per litre in Chennai.
Similarly, diesel prices are at Rs. 65.75 per litre in Delhi, Rs. 68.45 per litre in Kolkata, Rs. 70.01 per litre in Mumbai and Rs. 69.37 per litre in Chennai, according to data put out on the Website of Indian Oil Corporation, a public sector oil marketing company. At present, petrol and diesel prices are revised by oil marketing companies on a daily basis effective 6 am.
With an aim to bring transparency in oil pricing, the government started revising petrol and diesel prices on a daily basis from June 2017 onwards. Before this prices were revised on a fortnight basis. Since then prices have been constantly going up, affecting office-goers on a daily basis.
The government has been facing constant criticism from the opposition and public on increase of petrol and diesel prices. Since the Narendra Modi Government has come to power excise duty has been increased multiple times as a result petrol and diesel prices went up even when the global crude oil prices were down. Excise duty on petrol has gone up by 100 percent while on diesel it has gone up by more than 200 percent. The government has reduced taxes just once in October 2017 by Rs. 2 a litre.
Off lately, however, crude oil prices have again started rising. Currently, crude oil is at $75 against the peak of $110 barrel in 2013 but still, people are made to pay more for the fuel. With the government benefitting from high taxes on petrol and diesel prices it is time to reconsider high excise duty imposed on petrol and diesel prices by the government.
Around 80 percent of the fuel requirement of the country is currently met through imports. Since the payment is made in dollars, the rupee-dollar exchange rate is crucial to keep the fiscal deficit of the country in check.