'Immediately' bring petrol, diesel under GST: Chidambaram blames govt for price hike

Petrol prices

In Delhi, petrol was selling at Rs 79.31 per litre while the diesel was being sold at Rs 71.34 per litre.

Diesel rates on Monday were hiked by 39 paise a litre, the steepest increase since the daily revision in prices was introduced in mid-june 2017.

Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan yesterday blamed "external factors" for the rise in domestic prices of petrol and diesel, but said that the hike was temporary. On September 3, 2018, the price of petrol in the city was Rs. 86.65 per litre, beating the previous all-time high of Rs. 86.25.

Diesel rates had hit Rs 69.31 a litre on May 28, but this record was breached on August 27 and on Monday they hit a fresh high.

Meanwhile, Dharmendra Pradhan last week blamed the "isolated" policies of the United States for the "abnormally" rising fuel prices in the worldwide markets.

The former BJP leader's remarks comes a day after the prices of petrol and diesel, already at unprecedented levels in the country, rose for the 10th consecutive day today.

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The government has been under huge pressure to cut excise duty on petrol and diesel to bring the prices of fuel oil down.

The department of energy said it stepped in after South Africans had witnessed "sustained increases in fuel prices for the past few months, which placed a strain on the consumers".

Fuel rates have been on fire since mid-August, rising nearly every day due to a combination of a drop in rupee value and rise in crude oil rates.

There is no price increase for diesel or illuminating paraffin. The price of Brent oil increased to $78 a barrel on Monday. "Apart from that, crises in countries like Venezuela and Iran are increasing". On top of this, states levy Value Added Tax (VAT) - the lowest being in Andaman and Nicobar Islands where a 6 per cent sales tax is charged on both the fuel. "This is further hurting Asian currencies", the official said.

The rupee, which lost 10 paise against the USA dollar in late afternoon trade on Monday, ended at a new record low of 71.10.

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