States have also been urged to “commensurately reduce VAT” on petrol and diesel to give relief to consumers.
The Central government has announced an excise duty cut on petrol and diesel of ₹5 and ₹10 per litre, respectively, effective from November 4.
The Union Finance Ministry on November 3 said the reduction “will boost consumption and keep inflation low, thus helping the poor and middle classes”, while adding that the States have also been urged to ‘commensurately reduce VAT’ on petrol and diesel to give relief to consumers.
“In recent months, crude oil prices have witnessed a global upsurge. Consequently, domestic prices of petrol and diesel had increased in recent weeks exerting inflationary pressure. The world has also seen shortages and increased prices of all forms of energy,” the Ministry explained.
Arguing that the excise duty on diesel has been lowered by twice the amount as petrol, the Ministry said the move will particularly help farmers in the upcoming Rabi season. “The Indian farmers have, through their hard work, kept the economic growth momentum going even during the lockdown phase…,” it noted.
Petrol and diesel prices have been scaling record highs every other day and the government has so far claimed that the duties levied on them are helping fund the COVID-19 vaccination drive and other welfare measures.