Propelled by a rise in global crude oil prices and a weakening rupee, the price of petrol in Delhi is now touching Rs 80 while diesel has crossed the Rs 72 mark. Petrol price has risen by Rs 3.65 a litre and diesel by Rs 4.06 per litre - the biggest increase in rates witnessed in any month since the launch of daily price revision in mid-June a year ago.
Diesel price in the state has touched an all-time high (it reigns at Rs 77.98 a litre in Thiruvananthapuram on September 10) and is now higher than all the four metros.
AAP leaders staged a protest at Delhi's Jantar Mantar against the fuel price hike. The Centre now levies a total excise duty of Rs 19.48 per litre of petrol and Rs 15.33 per litre on diesel. The nationwide bandh has been called by the Congress over rising fuel prices and depreciation of the rupee. It also makes it clear that it is only due to the taxes levied by the Centre and the additional value added tax by the states that the fuel is becoming a priced commodity for domestic users.
Yesterday, Congress president Rahul Gandhi led the Bharat Bandh in Delhi, and former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said the need of the hour was for "Opposition parties to forget their differences and come together". Same is the case with diesel price in Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Rajasthan, where the sales tax on diesel is higher than in Kerala. AICC Chhattisgarh in-charge and senior leader PL Punia, state Congress chief Bhupesh Baghel joined the party workers in Raipur in appealing to businessmen to down their shutters.
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Amidst protests and national bandh by the opposition parties on Monday, the Telugu Desam Party government in Andhra Pradesh, an ally of BJP-led NDA government till March, has announced slashing the petrol and diesel prices by Rs 2 a litre.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who is among the strongest critics of BJP, said she "in principle" supported the issue on which the Bharat Bandh was called but not the bandh.
Govt rules out excise duty cut as petrol, diesel A cut in taxes on petrol and diesel is ruled out for now as neither the central government nor some states have the appetite to stomach revenue loss from such a move, a top government official. Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said: "Everyone has a right to protest but what is happening today?"