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Petrol crosses Rs 77 a litre mark, diesel at Rs 68.50

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New Delhi, Aug 7:  Petrol prices have crossed the Rs 77 a litre mark for the first time in two months due to firming international rates.

Petrol price in Delhi was today hiked by 9 paisa a litre to Rs 77.06 while diesel rates went up by 6 paisa to Rs 68.50 per litre, according to daily price notification issued by state-owned oil firms.

Fuel prices in Delhi are the cheapest in all metros and most state capitals due to lower sales tax or VAT.

Retail selling prices have been firming up since July 30 as international rates inched up. Rates have risen by Rs 0.90 a litre in case of petrol in nine days while diesel prices have risen by Rs 0.88 per litre.

Petrol price had touched an all-time high of Rs 78.43 a litre on May 29 and had since receded. On that day, the diesel price had touched an all-time high of Rs 69.30.

Petrol was last above the Rs 77-mark on June 9 when it was priced at Rs 77.02 a litre in Delhi. On that day, diesel was priced at Rs 68.28 per litre.

State-owned oil firms had in mid-June last year dumped 15-year practice of revising rates on 1st and 16th of every month in favour of daily price revisions.

High prices have off-and-on triggered demands for a reduction in excise duty but the government had ruled out any immediate cut.

The Centre currently levies a total of Rs 19.48 per litre of excise duty on petrol and Rs 15.33 per litre on diesel. 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.

Mumbai has the highest VAT of 39.12 per cent on petrol, while Telangana levies the highest VAT of 26 per cent on diesel. Delhi charges a VAT of 27 per cent on petrol and 17.24 per cent on diesel.

The central government had raised excise duty on petrol by Rs 11.77 a litre and that on diesel by 13.47 a litre in nine installments 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.

This led to its excise collections from petro goods more than doubling in last four years – from Rs 99,184 crore in 2014-15 to Rs 2,29,019 crore in 2017-18. States saw their VAT revenue from petro goods rise from Rs 1,37,157 crore in 2014-15 to Rs 1,84,091 crore in 2017-18.

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