Petrol crosses Rs 90-mark in 12 cities across Maharashtra, Pune next?

Mumbai: Petrol prices in at least 12 cities in Maharashtra – Parbhani, Nandurbar, Nanded, Latur, Jalna, Jalgaon, Hingoli, Gondia, Buldhana, Beed, Aurangabad and Ratnagiri – crossed the Rs 90-mark for a litre by September 16.
In Pune petrol was retailing at pumps for Rs 89.31 per litre, and diesel for Rs 77 per litre, both record highs.
The rate in Mumbai was at a record high of Rs 89.38 a litre. The diesel prices in several cities, including Mumbai, were more than Rs 78 a litre on Sunday.
In Parbhani, where the fuel prices are the highest in the country, petrol cost Rs 91.15 a litre, while diesel cost Rs 78.86. Petrol and diesel prices in Mumbai have gone up by Rs 2.36 a litre and Rs 3.72 a litre, respectively, since August 31.
The recent surge in transportation fuel prices is attributed to high crude oil prices and a falling rupee. A weak rupee against the dollar makes the import of crude oil expensive. The price of Brent crude oil is currently over $78 for a barrel. Maharashtra has high fuel prices owing to 25% value-added tax (VAT) on petrol in Mumbai, Thane, Navi Mumbai, and 26% in the rest of the state, in addition to a surcharge of Rs 9 for a litre across the state.
For diesel, the VAT is 21% in Mumbai, Thane and Navi Mumbai, and 22% in rest of the state, with a surcharge of Rs 1 for a litre across the state. According to petrol pump owners, fuel prices vary depending on the transportation cost from the petroleum refinery to the city. “In Parbhani, the prices are high as the city gets its fuel supply from Solapur depot, which is about 275km away,” said a petrol pump owner from Parbhani.
Increased fuel prices have triggered the demand for reduction in taxes levied on fuel prices, besides bringing it under the ambit of goods and services tax (GST). The Opposition parties had recently called for a nationwide bandh to protest the hike in fuel prices. State-owned oil firms have been revising fuel prices every day since October 2017. The oil ministry had sought a reduction in excise duty on petrol and diesel to cushion the impact of rising international oil rates. Sachin Sawant, spokesperson, Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee, said, “Despite higher taxes on fuel in Maharashtra, the state is levying drought cess, although it got over long ago.”

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