New Delhi: Diesel prices today hit a record high of Rs 69.46 per litre while petrol rates inched towards Rs 78 a litre mark after a fall in rupee made imports costlier.Diesel price was today hiked about 14 paise per litre and petrol by 13 paise, according to price notification of state-owned fuel retailers.
The increase pushed diesel price to its highest ever level of Rs 69.46 a litre in Delhi. In Mumbai, the fuel now costs Rs 73.74 a litre. Fuel prices in Delhi are the cheapest in all metros and most state capitals due to lower sales tax or VAT. Diesel price had previously hit its highest level on May 29 when it reached Rs 69.31 a litre mark in Delhi. Petrol in Delhi today costs Rs 77.91 per litre, and Rs 85.33 in Mumbai. The rates are however lower than the peak hit on May 29 when they touched Rs Rs 78.43 a litre in Delhi and Rs 86.24 in Mumbai.
Fuel prices have been on the rise since August 16 after the rupee dipped to its lowest value against the US dollar. The domestic unit hit a record low of 70.32 in early trade that day. Petrol price has risen by Rs 0.77 a litre in Delhi in last 12 days. Diesel rates have gone up by Rs 0.74 per litre since then. State-owned oil firms had in mid-June last year dumped the 15-year practice of revising rates on 1st and 16th of every month in favour of daily price revisions. High prices have off-and-on triggered demands for a reduction in excise duty but the government had ruled out any immediate cut.
The centre currently levies a total of Rs 19.48 per litre of excise duty on petrol and Rs 15.33 per litre on diesel. On top of this, states levy value added tax (VAT) – the lowest being in Andaman and Nicobar Islands where a 6 per cent sales tax is charged on both the fuel. Mumbai has the highest VAT of 39.12 per cent on petrol, while Telangana levies the highest VAT of 26 per cent on diesel. Delhi charges a VAT of 27 per cent on petrol and 17.24 per cent on diesel.
The central government had raised excise duty on petrol by Rs 11.77 a litre and that on diesel by 13.47 a litre in nine installments 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 Rs 2 a litre. This led to its excise collections from petro goods more than doubling in last four years – from Rs 99,184 crore in 2014-15 to Rs 2,29,019 crore in 2017-18. States saw their VAT revenue from petro goods rise from Rs 1,37,157 crore in 2014-15 to Rs 1,84,091 crore in 2017-18.