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But, let’s take a step back and see which major metro in the country actually witnessed the highest surge in petrol over the last seven years.
It is the commercial capital of Mumbai which holds this distinction having witnessed the steepest hike since 2011. On May 15, 2011 a litre of petrol would cost Rs 68.33 in Mumbai, a good Rs 14.35 less than what you would pay today.
Seven years ago, Delhi– which has seen the second highest surge in petrol price — was retailing petrol at Rs 11.99 less per litre.
Compared to Mumbai and Delhi, the tech capital of Bengaluru has had a much smoother run with the black gold price rising by just Rs 4.94 per litre over the last seven years.
While, Chennai saw a surge of Rs 10.43 per litre during the period, Kolkata witnessed an increase of Rs 9.83 per litre.
FUEL PRICE FLUCTUATION FUNDA
Fuel prices are determined by a number of factors like global crude oil prices and taxes imposed on it closer home. The variance in these factors thus, lead to fluctuation in what a consumer actually pays. So this increase over the years is not just a gradual uptrend.
For example, within a year of petrol being Rs 63.37 a litre in May 2011 in Delhi, the rate had shot up to Rs 72 in May 2012 before falling back to Rs 63 in the same month in 2013. The trend can be mapped in case of other cities as well. The triggers again have been the volatility in crude prices on various global cues.
Of late, the change in fuel prices gave become a more common feature. Since June 16 last year, the government allowed oil companies to revise fuel prices on a daily basis, citing ‘transparency’ in pricing with regard to global rates as the reason. Ahead of that, fuel prices were revised every 15 days – a system that was devised after the pricing of petrol and diesel was deregulated in 2010 and 2014, respectively.
DIFFERENT FUEL PRICES ACROSS CITIES
As mentioned earlier, there is a bevy of taxes levied on fuel. In fact, nearly half (48.2 per cent) of what you pay for a litre of petrol is comprised of central taxes (like excise duty and state ones (like VAT). While the excise duty on petrol is a constant feature across the country, Value Added Tax (VAT), charged by state governments differ.
For instance, Maharashtra charges 25 per cent VAT on petrol in Mumbai, Navi Mumbai and Thane, while the rest of the state pays 26 per cent VAT on it. On the other hand, Delhi charges 27 per cent VAT on a litre of petrol.
UNIFORM FUEL PRICES POSSIBLE?
Since the roll out of Goods and Services Tax (GST) in June 2017, speculations and analyses have been rife on the prospect of bringing petroleum products under the ambit of the new tax regime. Probably, the most positive response came in December last year when Finance Minister Arun Jaitley while speaking in the upper house of the Parliament said, “We are in favour of bringing petroleum under GST.”
However, numbers suggest that if petrol, diesel is taxed under the highest 28 per cent slab of GST, it will not bode well for states’ exchequer.
Read full story: Petrol, Diesel under GST: How does it work out?
Earlier this month, TOI reported quoting sources that the central government is unlikely to extend the GST net to petroleum products, thus bringing it on the same page as state governments which were always opposed to the idea.
Read here: Govt to keep petrol, diesel out of GST net