CPI(M) mouthpiece People’s Democracy, criticising frequent fuel price hikes, has questioned the way the government is spending “windfall gains” made by eleven hikes in excise duty in last three years.
These hikes amount to an additional ₹12 per litre of petrol and ₹13 per litre of diesel. Apart from that, there are State-level taxes.
The government’s excise duty collection during the period 2014-17 shot up from ₹ 99,184 crore to ₹2,42,691 crore.
Currently, the petrol per litre price range from ₹70-79 in various cities. The price of diesel is around ₹61-62 per litre.
The People’s Democracy editorial points out that since July 1, when daily price revision was introduced, the price of petrol has gone up by over ₹6.17 per litre. In September 2012, the price of crude oil was $112 per barrel. At that time, the price of petrol for a consumer in India was ₹ 73 per litre. Now the international price of crude oil is $ 52 per barrel, yet the domestic price of petrol is ₹ 74 per litre.
“So why are the prices high and the benefits of the lower imported price of crude oil not being passed on to the consumer?” the editorial questions.