Politics

Petrol price hike: Congress to hold nationwide protest on Friday – Mint

The Indian National Congress has decided to stage a nationwide symbolic protest on 11 June against the rising fuel prices that have crossed the 100-mark at several places, including Mumbai.

Party workers will assemble in front of petrol pumps across the country to stage a demonstration.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi had earlier hit out at the Centre over the rise in petrol prices and said the waves of tax collection epidemic are continuously coming.

Latest fuel rates

Petrol and diesel prices were raised again on Wednesday by 19 paise per litre each in Delhi, according to a price notification of state-owned fuel retailers.

The latest hike has taken petrol to an all-time high of 95.56 a litre while diesel is now priced at 86.47 in the national capital.

In Mumbai, where petrol had already reached above 100, petrol now costs 101.76 per litre while diesel comes for 93.85 per litre.

The hike is the 22nd since 4 May when state-owned oil firms ended an 18-day hiatus in rate revision that they had observed during assembly elections in some states.

Petrol is retailing above the 100 per litre mark in six states and union territories — Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Ladakh.

Sri Ganganagar district of Rajasthan near the border with Pakistan has the costliest fuel in the country — petrol is priced at 106.39 a litre and diesel at 99.24.

Fuel prices differ from state to state depending on the incidence of local taxes such as VAT and freight charges.

Rajasthan levies the highest VAT on petrol and diesel in the country, followed by Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.

On the other hand, Brent crude, the global oil price benchmark, is nearing USD 72 per barrel for the first time in two years.

Blame on crude price surge

Union petroleum and natural gas minister Dharmendra Pradhan has blamed the recent surge in global crude oil prices for the fuel price hike in India.

Noting that petrol and diesel have become costlier in recent times, Pradhan said it is up to the GST Council to decide whether the fuel should be brought under the Goods and Services Tax, which, many believe, would substantially bring down the prices.

“The prices of petroleum products have gone up. The main reason is that the price of crude oil has gone over USD 70 (per barrel) in the international market. This negatively impacts consumers here, as India imports 80 per cent of its oil requirement,” he said.

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