New Delhi: The government today hiked excise duty on petrol and diesel prices by Rs 1.50 a litre each to mop up an additional Rs 13,000 crore in revenue, a move that may translate into similar increase in retail rates.
The fall in international oil prices had resulted in six consecutive reduction in petrol prices since August and two in diesel in the last one month and there was possibility of another round of cuts this weekend.
But the possible reduction has now been negated as the government decided to raise excise duty to shore up its revenue.
Excise duty on normal or unbranded petrol was hiked from Rs 1.20 per litre to Rs 2.70 per litre and unbranded diesel from Rs 1.46 a litre to Rs 2.96, a government notification said.
The same on branded petrol was raised from Rs 2.35 a litre to Rs 3.85 and on branded diesel from Rs 3.75 to Rs 5.25 per litre.
While the excise duty hike will result in an immediate increase in both petrol and diesel prices, the expected reduction would keep the retail rates at almost the same levels.
There is also a possibility of state-owned oil firms preponing the planned review of fuel prices due on Saturday to make the whole exercise price neutral for consumers.
Before the duty hike, petrol cost Rs 64.25 a litre in Delhi and diesel Rs 53.35 a litre. While the fall in global rates and the resultant cuts in retail prices had led to loss of revenue to the exchequer, particularly, for state governments, there wasn’t any loss to the Central government on account of reduction in petrol and diesel prices as excise duty on the two fuel is fixed.
Unbranded petrol currently attracts a basic excise duty of Rs 1.20 per litre, a special additional excise duty of Rs 6 a litre and a road cess of Rs 2 per litre. Unbranded diesel attracts a basis excise duty of Rs 1.46 a litre and road cess of Rs 2 per litre.
The total excise duty on unbranded petrol will rise from Rs 9.20 to Rs 10.70 per litre and than on unbranded diesel from Rs 3.46 to Rs 4.96 per litre.
Branded petrol currently attracts an excise duty of Rs 10.35 per litre which would go up to Rs 11.85 per litre and that on branded diesel from Rs 5.75 to Rs 7.25 per litre.
State-owned fuel retailers Indian Oil Corp (IOC), Bharat Petroleum Corp (BPCL) and Hindustan Petroleum Corp (HPCL), following the fortnightly review practice, are due to revise rates of petrol and diesel on Saturday.
Going by the trend in international market, rates would have been reduced. Petrol price was last cut by Rs 2.41 a litre on November 1. On the same day, diesel rates were reduced by Rs 2.25 per litre. A litre of petrol in Delhi today costs Rs 64.25 a litre.
Since August, petrol price has been cumulatively cut by Rs 9.36 per litre. Diesel price was cut for the first time in more than five years on October 19 by Rs 3.37 a litre when the government decided to deregulate the fuel. This was followed by another reduction on November 1 and diesel currently costs Rs 53.35 a litre in Delhi.
Prior to the October 19 reduction, diesel rates were previously cut in January 2009. Sources said oil firms revise rates of petrol, which was deregulated in June 2010, and diesel on 1st and 16th of every month based on average international oil price and rupee-US dollar exchange rate.
Brent crude fell to a four-year low of USD 79.86 per barrel amid signs that OPEC remains unwilling to reduce output to ease concern of a global supply glut. Brent has lost almost 30 per cent since its June peak amid speculation that global supply is outpacing demand.