Bowing to public pressure, the government today cut excise duty on petrol and diesel by Rs 2 per litre each to moderate the relentless rise in fuel prices witnessed for the last three months.
Facts on excise duty in the last 3 years:
- In all, duty on petrol was hiked by Rs 11.77 per litre and that on diesel by 13.47 a litre in those 15 months that helped government's excise mop-up more than double to Rs 242,000 crore in 2016-17 from Rs 99,000 crore in 2014-15.
- Retail fuel prices have been on the upswing since July 4. Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan's predictions of a drop were short-lived as rates fell for just three days and reverted to their upward trajectory.
- While petrol prices have increased by Rs 7.8 to reach Rs 70.88 a litre in Delhi, the highest since August 2014, diesel rates have risen by Rs 5.7 to touch an all-time high of Rs 59.14.
- While the costliest petrol was sold in September 2013 when it was priced at Rs 76.06 a litre in Delhi, the previous highest rate for diesel was also during the BJP rule in September 2014 when it was priced at Rs 58.97 per litre.
- Previously, the rates were changed every fortnight but since June 16 they are revised daily to immediately pass on any movement in international oil prices to consumers and avoid sharp spikes by spreading them in small doses. The windfall from the excise duty hikes helped the government bridge its budgetary deficit.
- Normal or unbranded petrol currently commands a basic excise duty of Rs 8.48 per litre, special additional excise duty of Rs 7 a litre and additional excise duty of Rs 6. The total excise incidence on branded petrol is Rs 22.66 per litre with basic excise duty is charged at higher rate of Rs 9.66.
- Unbranded diesel attracts basic excise duty of Rs 10.33 per litre, special additional excise duty of Re 1 and additional excise duty of Rs 6 per litre. Branded diesel attracts Rs 12.69 per litre basic excise duty, Re 1 a lire additional excise duty and Rs 6 special additional excise duty.
- State-owned oil companies in June dumped the 15-year old practice of revising rates on 1st and 16th of every month and instead adopted a dynamic daily price revision to instantly reflect changes in cost. Rates during the first fortnight starting June 16 dropped but have been on the rise since July 4.