Diesel price hiked again; wipes out Rs 2.5 per litre cut

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Diesel price were hiked for the 10th consecutive day today, wiping out all of the Rs 2.50 per litre cut in rates announced by the central government earlier this month. The Centre had cut excise duty cut on fuel by Rs 1.50 per lite and had asked oil marketing companies (OMSs) to subsidise petrol and diesel prices by Re 1 a litre.

While petrol price remained static Monday, diesel rates were hiked by 8 paise per litre, according to a price notification of state-owned fuel retailers.

With this, diesel prices have in the last 10 days been hiked by Rs 2.51 per litre. This is the fastest increase in rates since oil firms implemented daily price revision in mid-June last year.

It now costs Rs 75.46 per litre in Delhi, a shade higher than Rs 75.45 a litre price when the government on October 4 announced the excise duty cut in 12 months.

Even before the excise duty cut, Rajasthan, West Bengal, Karnataka, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh had last month reduced VAT to cushion consumers for a spate of price increases.

The reduction in excise duty, only the second in four years of BJP-led NDA rule, will dent Central government revenues by Rs 10,500 crore and was aimed at cooling retail prices that had shot up to an all-time high.

The BJP-government at the centre had raised excise duty on petrol by Rs 11.77 a litre and that on diesel by Rs 13.47 a litre in nine instalments between November 2014 and January 2016 to shore up finances as global oil prices fell, but then cut the tax just once in October last year by Rs 2 a litre.

Prior to October 4 cut, petrol price had risen by Rs 6.86 a litre and diesel by Rs 6.73 since mid-August.

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