Delhi/Mumbai: Day after Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced a hike in excise duty and infrastructure cess on petrol and diesel, fuel prices shot up across the country on Saturday.
In Delhi, petrol price stood at Rs 72.96 per litre after a hike of 2.45 paisa, while diesel was Rs 66.69 per litre after 2.36 paisa hike. In Mumbai, petrol is being sold at Rs 78.57 per litre and Rs 69.90 per litre. In Kolkata, petrol is being sold at Rs 75.15 per litre and Rs 68.59 per litre, higher by over Rs 2 per litre.
In Madhya Pradesh capital Bhopal, fuel prices shot up by more than Rs 4.40 with petrol being sold at Rs 78 per litre and diesel Rs 70.12 per litre.
FM Sitharaman had announced an additional special excise duty of Re 1 and infrastructure cess of Re 1 per litre on both petrol and diesel while presenting the Union Budget 2019-20 on Friday. "I propose to increase special additional excise duty and road and infrastructure cess each by one rupee a litre on petrol and diesel," she said.
FM had later dismissed suggestions that levies on petrol and diesel will fuel inflation, saying it was aimed at meeting public funding without hurting individual taxpayers. She added that the step was taken to propel people to move away from fossil fuels and adapt to electric vehicles.
In October 2018, the government had cut excise duty to moderate the effect of rising oil prices.
Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia lashed out at the Centre for putting an additional cess of Rs 1 on petrol and diesel.
जब विश्व भर में पेट्रोल और डीज़ल के दाम गिर रहे हैं, तो उसका फ़ायदा आम आदमी तक पहुंचाने के बजाय सरकार 1 रुपये प्रति लीटर की उत्पाद शुल्क (excise duty) और उपकार (cess) लगाने जा रही है | यह निंदनीय कदम एक आम और गरीब इंसान के पेट पर लात मारने के बराबर है | #Budget2019
— Jyotiraditya Scindia (@JM_Scindia) July 5, 2019
"When the prices of petrol and diesel are falling across the world, instead of giving the benefit to the people the government has announced to include a Rs 1 of excise and cess tax. This condemnable step is like kicking common and poor man's stomach," he tweeted.