New Delhi: A day after Centre's appeal, the Bihar government on Friday reduced the prices of petrol and diesel by Rs 2.52 per litre and Rs 2.55 per litre respectively. On Thursday, the Centre had announced a cut in the petrol and diesel prices by Rs 2.50 per litre.
While some of the key states slashed petrol and diesel prices on Thursday itself, Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Modi had said that the state government had not received any official letter by then from Finance Minister Arun Jaitley regarding the issue.
He had added that the Bihar government will make a decision on petrol and diesel prices only after receiving the order.
"We didn't receive any letter from Jaitley ji. First we will see the order then make a decision on petrol and diesel. Each and every state has their own situation so first let the letter come," the Deputy Chief Minister had said.
Concerned over the spike in fuel prices, FM Jaitley had on Thursday announced an excise duty cut on petrol and diesel by Rs 1.50 per litre adding that Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) will absorb Re 1 per litre on fuel. The finance minister had said that the impact of excise duty cut this year will be Rs 10,500 crore.
Following his announcement, most of the key BJP ruled states such as Maharashtra, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Tripura, Jharkhand, Chattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh also announced an additional cut of Rs 2.50 per litre on petrol and diesel bringing the effect reduction to Rs 5 per litre on fuel prices.
Fuel prices were witnessing a steep rise since the past few weeks. Despite the prices of petrol and diesel touching record highs with continuous hikes, the Central government skirted questions on whether it is considering a tax cut on imported crude to bring down the prices.
While the Opposition has repeatedly blamed the union government for not doing enough to keep a check on prices, the latter has always maintained that global crude oil prices and other international factors are causing a hike in prices of petroleum products.
As per India's pricing mechanism, the domestic fuel prices depend upon the international fuel prices on a 15-day average and the value of the Indian rupee.