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Escalating petrol prices in India

It was quite clear that petrol prices were kept low with the election of five states, but retail petrol prices continued to rise with the election. Data collected from the Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell (PPAC) shows that in the last 17 days after the 138-day freeze was lifted in Delhi, the retail price has gone up by Rs 10 per liter. Experts are of the opinion that retail prices are still not that high before the central excise duty is reduced in November 2021, so further increases can be expected soon. However, growth is expected to pick up gradually as crude oil prices soften from record highs in March, and exchange rates improve somewhat, thus reducing the level of increase in retail petrol prices.

One of the main reasons for the high price of petrol is the excise duty at the Center. In Delhi, for example, the excise duty at the Center constitutes about 27% of the retail price of petrol. That is, for petrol worth Rs 100 per admission at the stations, the customer is paying around Rs 27 central tax. Compared to 2014, the center’s tax share was only 14%. Since then, whenever unrefined prices have crashed, the government has increased the center’s excise duty in proportion to the drop and has not given benefits to consumers.

Considering that the price of crude goods is still high, any significant reduction in retail price can be achieved only if other items like excise duty and VAT are reduced.


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