New Delhi: Reacting to the soaring fuel prices, Union minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Monday said that prices of petrol and diesel depend on international factors. He said that fuel prices soar in the country when oil prices become high in the international market.
Petrol price on Monday again hit a four-year high of Rs 73.83 a litre while diesel rates touched an all-time high of Rs 64.69 in the national capital.
The hike in fuel prices have again stoked fresh demands for the government to cut excise tax rates.
Pradhan, however, expressed hope that petroleum products will soon be brought under the ambit of GST.
"We are sensitive regarding petrol and diesel price hike. We have advocated for bringing petroleum products under Goods and Services Tax (GST). We want GST Council to soon take a decision regarding this. I am hopeful that petroleum products will also come under GST soon," he said.
State-owned oil firms, which have been since June last year revising auto fuel prices daily, today raised petrol prices by 10 paise and diesel rates by 11 paise per litre each in Delhi, as per an Indian Oil price notification.
Petrol in the national capital now costs Rs 73.83 a litre, the highest since September 14, 2014 when rates had hit Rs 76.06. Diesel price at Rs 64.69 is the highest ever, with previous high of Rs 64.22 being on February 7, 2018.
On Sunday Petrol in the national capital was at Rs 73.73 while diesel prices were at Rs 64.58.
Government had cut excise duty by Rs 2 per litre in October 2017. At that time, petrol price had reached Rs 70.88 per litre in Delhi and diesel Rs. 59.14. However, after the reduction in excise duty, diesel prices had on October 4, 2017 come down to Rs 56.89 per litre and petrol to Rs 68.38 per litre.
The October 2017 excise duty cut cost the government Rs 26,000 crore in annual revenue and about Rs 13,000 crore during the remaining part of the current fiscal year.
However, a global rally in crude prices pushed domestic fuel prices far higher than those levels.
Since January oil has risen about 4 percent, on track for the longest stretch of quarterly gains since late 2010, a Reuters report has said. WTI`s discount to Brent has grown to more than $5 a barrel, the biggest since January, making Brent-linked crudes less attractive to refiners than US oil.
Prices for the more actively traded June Brent crude futures were up 69 cents, or 1 percent, at $69.45 by 1:32 p.m. EDT (1832 GMT), while the May contract expiring on Thursday was up 35 cents at $70.19.West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures gained 62 cents, or 1 percent, to $65.
With Agencies Inputs