A survey has said that 69 per cent respondents want the government to cut excise duty on petrol and diesel to bring down the fuel prices that have touched record highs.
As central excise is one of the two major components of the prices of fuel, moderation in the duty will provide succour to people who are facing the heat of economic slowdown and income disruption due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the survey conducted by Local Circles, a community social media platform. "The aggregate percentage of responses from 69 per cent citizens want the government to reduce excise duty on petrol and diesel. Of which, the majority of citizens want the prices to be reduced by 20 per cent or by Rs 6 or more for both petrol and diesel," it said. If done, it will reduce the price of petrol to Rs 78 per litre and diesel to Rs 68 per litre in Delhi and similarly across India where the impact to the citizens is even higher, it said, adding, Delhi has one of the lowest prices of diesel and petrol in the country.
The survey had 9,326 responses from citizens residing in 201 districts of India. Of this 71 per cent respondents were men while 29 per cent respondents were women. Petrol price on Thursday scaled to an all-time high of Rs 84.20 per litre in the national capital after state-owned fuel retailers hiked rates for the second day in a row.
Petrol price on Thursday was hiked by 23 paise per litre and diesel by 26 paise a litre, according to a price notification from oil marketing companies. In Delhi, petrol now costs Rs 84.20 per litre and diesel is priced at Rs 74.38. In Mumbai, petrol comes for Rs 90.83 a litre and diesel for Rs 81.07.
Of the Rs 84 per litre that commoners pay at the pump, the actual value of the petrol is only Rs 26 while the rest are taxes, duty and dealer's commission, the survey said.
The central government charges Rs 32.98 (125 per cent of the base price) as excise and the Delhi government levies Rs 19 (72 per cent of the base price) per litre on petrol Value-added Tax (VAT), it said, adding, similar levies in commission and taxes are applied on diesel.