Govt Not To Cut Excise On Petroleum Products Despite Prices Soaring

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New Delhi: The government is not considering cutting excise duty on petrol and diesel despite petrol price touching a 55-month high and diesel rate hitting an all-time high. Economic Affairs Secretary Subhash Chandra Garg has said that rates have not touched levels that could trigger such an action.

Garg said oil prices can impact the government's fiscal maths if they result in a spike in rates of domestic cooking gas (LPG) - the only commodity that is subsidised now.

"Otherwise there is no direct subsidy any longer," he said. "Indirect subsidy/impact comes, if crude oil prices reach a certain level (and) there might by some rethink about excise duty etc. That's not happened so far," he added. Without indicating the level of oil prices that could trigger an excise duty cut, he said, "If the level (of prices now) does not go up, there is no reason (for excise duty cut)." The price of petrol was on April 21 hiked by 13 paise per litre while that of diesel was raised by 15 paise per litre. As of Saturday, the cost of petrol was Rs 74.21 a litre and that of diesel diesel was Rs 65.46 per litre in Delhi.

State oil firms have not revised petrol and diesel price for almost a week now. This after petrol price hit a 55-month high of Rs 74.63 a litre and diesel rates climbed to a record high of Rs 65.93. Last week, a finance ministry official said that a reduction in excise duty, which makes up for a quarter of retail fuel price, is not advisable if the government is to stick to the path of reducing budgetary deficit

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