India sees a surge in fuel prices for the 16th day in a row

With a constant rise in fuel prices in the last couple of weeks, petrol and diesel prices have come neck to neck with each other for the first time in the history of independent India. Petrol prices have surged by Rs 8.30 per litre and diesel by Rs 9.22 per litre, according to Indian Oil Corp data. Petrol is being sold at Rs 79.56 a litre in Delhi as of Monday, while diesel is at Rs 78.85 per litre.

While fuel prices may soon cross the Rs 80 per litre mark in Delhi, petrol in many other cities including Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata, is already being sold for as much as Rs 86.36 per litre.

Earlier this month, it was predicted that petrol and diesel prices may rise over Rs 80 a litre in the coming days, reasons being high duty on fuel, rise in crude prices as compared to pre-corona levels, and a very weak rupee value.

As the prices of crude oil, a raw material used to produce petrol and diesel, fell sharply due to the global lockdown in the months of April and May, PM Narendra Modi’s government sharply raised the fuel taxes to earn more revenue. Making sure that the burden of high fuel prices would not be borne by consumers, the government hiked Rs 10 per litre duty on petrol and Rs 13 per litre duty on diesel.

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Although, now when the crude prices have rebounded to the pre-corona levels, the high taxes have brought the consumers at the receiving end.

Altogether, with the second revision in excise duty, the government is collecting around 260 percent taxes on the base price of petrol and 256 per cent in the case of diesel. Meanwhile, Congress leader Randeep Singh Surjewala informed in a tweet that it is for the first time after independence that petrol and diesel prices have come to a near-same level and the government has earned Rs 1.1 lakh crore from the people of India in the last 15 days. “The fact is that a week’s worth of the fake news media warning people away from the rally because of COVID and protesters, combined with recent images of burning American cities, had a real impact on people bringing their families to the event,” he said.

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