Srinagar: Petrol and diesel prices in Srinagar rose to an all-time high with Rs 88.1 and Rs 78.5 per litre respectively.
The petrol owners here said that petrol price has increased 5.51 Rs/litre since 28th August when it was 82.59 Rs/litre, and diesel price has increased 5.43 Rs/litre since 28th August when it was 73.13 Rs/litre.
The locals here in Srinagar are concerned about the pace on which the prices are increasing day by day. Some of them even complained that the fuel hike has disrupted their budgets.
“It won’t take much time for petrol prices to reach Rs 100 at this speed. We have no other option but to buy fuel to commute. Government should reduce the prices, it’s affecting our budget.” a commuter said.
A government official, wishing not to be named, said that the state taxes on petroleum are among highest in the country, besides there are central excise duty and entry taxes levied on petroleum products which add up to the price and finally burden the consumer.
Central excise duty on petrol and diesel went up by Rs 11.77 and Rs 13.47 a litre respectively. As a result, the centre government’s excise mop up more than doubled to Rs 242,000 crore in 2016-17 from Rs 99,000 crore in 2014-15.
A representative of Valley-based petroleum dealer claims that “currently prices of petrol and diesels have reached all time high level. The main reason for it is that centre government is revising price on daily basis which was not the case earlier.”
“Now Union Oil Ministry issues revision prices every morning, earlier petroleum prices were reviewed fortnightly,” he said, adding that “in last four years, price of petroleum on an average has increased by over Rs 20 a litre.”
With the central excise duty and other entry taxes, the total tax percentage reaches about 52 percent on petrol and 46 percent on diesel, which means actual cost of a liter of petrol, which a consumer buys for Rs 88 in Srinagar, is only about Rs 37.
The petroleum dealers said they are facing double edged sword as the Union Petroleum Ministry revises petroleum prices on daily basis while at the same time, high rate of tax charged by state government is leading to hike in petroleum prices every now and then.
“We have urged the state government to reduce the tax rate on petrol, ” Bashir Ahmad, a petroleum dealer said.
The people here suggest that government should cut tax on fuels. Some even suggest bringing petrol and diesel under the GST, hoping that it would reduce taxes.
“If the government includes fuels under GST and applies the highest tax slab of 28 per cent, the price of petrol would come down by Rs 26.9 and diesel by Rs 15.4,” said one of the owners of petrol pump here in Srinagar. (KNS)