Representative image (Image: Reuters)
Even as the price of international crude oil is rallying, state-run oil marketing companies (OMCs) have kept the price of petrol and diesel steady for more than 10 days. The last uptick in petrol and diesel prices was on February 27, 2021.
Since then, the price of petrol and diesel in New Delhi remained unchanged at Rs 91.17 per litre and Rs 81.47 per litre, respectively, according to the Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL). In Mumbai, the price of petrol is Rs 97.57 per litre. The price of diesel stood at Rs 88.60 per litre.
A Business Standard report, citing two government sources states that the unchanged prices of petrol and diesel are because the "centre has informally conveyed to the three major OMCs to not revise fuel prices for the time being." owing to the upcoming state elections.
It further added that the informal directive was issued after the discussion between centre and state to cut taxes on fuel remained unresolved. “Despite some states reducing taxes on petrol and diesel, such measures may not have a significant impact on retail prices," one of the government officials cited above said.
Poll bound West Bengal and Assam has earlier announced a tax cut on prices of petrol and diesel by Rs. 1 and Rs. 5 respectively in February.
Union Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan had earlier attributed the skyrocketing prices of fuels, to increased demand and assured that they will come down, as the winter season ends.
He said that he had that if petroleum products are brought under GST purview, it will be a big relief for the common man. It will also be very helpful for the growth of the oil and gas sector.
However, the Finance Ministry on March 9 revealed that no recommendation has been made by the Goods and Services Tax (GST) council to bring petrol and diesel under its ambit.
"To bring petrol and diesel under the ambit of GST, the recommendation of the GST Council is necessary. No such recommendation has been made so far," said Anurag Thakur, Union minister of state for finance, in a written reply in Rajya Sabha.[Input from agencies]