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As Centre, BJP States Cut Fuel Prices, Congress Calls it Panic Reaction Ahead of Polls: 10 Developments

Soon after the announcement, the stock prices of all major oil marketing companies (OMC) deep-dived, with stocks falling by a cumulative 12 per cent for Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd, Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd, IOCL and Oil India Ltd.

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Updated:October 4, 2018, 11:53 PM IST
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As Centre, BJP States Cut Fuel Prices, Congress Calls it Panic Reaction Ahead of Polls: 10 Developments
File photo of Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.
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The government on Thursday announced a Rs 2.50 a litre cut in petrol and diesel prices, factoring in excise duty reduction of Rs 1.50 per litre and asking oil companies to absorb another Re 1.

Here are the top 10 developments:

-Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, Tripura, Chhattisgarh, Uttarakhand, Arunachal Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Goa, Manipur and Assam followed suit and announced a cut of Rs 2.50, thus providing a total relief of Rs 5. While Jharkhand announced that it would provide the relief only on diesel, Maharashtra said it would cut petrol prices.

-In Delhi, where the fuel prices are the lowest among all metros and most of the state capitals, petrol is currently sold at Rs 84 per litre and diesel at Rs 75.45.

-Soon after the announcement, the stock prices of all major oil marketing companies (OMC) deep-dived, with stocks falling by a cumulative 12 per cent for Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd, Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd, IOCL and Oil India Ltd.

-For state-owned fuel retailers absorbing Re 1 per litre price would mean about Rs 10,700 crore dent in their revenue on an annualised basis.

Petrol-Prices-Cuts-Cartoon

-Welcoming the decision, the All India Petrol Dealers’ Association said it would provide relief to consumers.

-The Congress called the cut “a needle in a haystack”, saying “after inflicting a thousand wounds, Modi govt applies a bandage — a nominal cut in fuel prices”. It also demanded that petrol and diesel be brought under the ambit of Goods and Services Tax (GST).

- Congress leader P Chidambaram said on Twitter: "An oil revenue dependent government has belatedly realised the unbearable burden on the people and indulged in tokenism".

-Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala tweeted that the price reduction was a "panic reaction facing the anger of people because of upcoming elections". "If he was serious, he should have withdrawn the excise hike of 211% on Petrol and 443% on Diesel since May 2014," he said, adding that "Inflation is burning a deep hole in the pockets of the common man".

-The BJP government 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.

-It had resisted the call for a reduction in excise duty since May when retail rates first shot up and then again from mid-August when fuel prices started moving up.
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