The Andhra Pradesh government, led by Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, cut down petrol and diesel prices by Rs 2 per litre.
The prices being revised on a daily basis are wreaking havoc on the economy, causing the maximum damage to the already weakened sections- farmers, small contractors, truckers and ordinary people, and spurring a call for Bharat Bandh on September 10 by the Left parties, joined in by other opposition parties, including the Congress.
Despite a nationwide bandh on Monday, the surge in fuel prices seen to offer no immediate respite. At the same time, the diesel prices too marched ahead and was priced at Rs 78.83 per litre.
TDP had opposed the demand of the opposition parties to bring the fuel products under the ambit of GST, claiming that fuel products were among the major contributors of tax revenues for the states. The government would have to forego a tax revenue of Rs. 820 crore towards diesel, and Rs. 300 crore on petrol.
Azad said all across the country were joining hands to protest againt the risibng prices of petrol and diesel.
Fuel prices across the country continue to rise relentlessly. In Chennai, petrol costs Rs 84.05 and diesel Rs 77.13. Since 1 August, petrol prices have risen by Rs 4.56 per litre and diesel prices have risen by Rs 5.15 a litre in the national capital, on the back of a depreciating Rupee against the dollar and an increase in global fuel prices.
State-owned oil firms had in June previous year discarded the policy of changing fuel rates on the first and 16th of every month, and resorted to daily price revision instead. On Tuesday, former Finance Minister P Chidambaram had tweeted: "Relentless rise in prices of petrol and diesel is not inevitable". Same is the case with diesel price in Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Rajasthan, where the sales tax on diesel is higher than in Kerala. The Centre now levies a total excise duty of Rs 19.48 per litre of petrol and Rs 15.33 per litre on diesel. "The state government has reduced only four per cent Value-Added Tax on diesel and petrol which is insufficient and the government will have to provide more relief to public", Sachin Pilot told reporters. 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.