Jaitley announces Rs 2.50 cut on fuel prices

New Delhi: Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley at the 22nd meeting of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) council, in New Delhi on Friday. PTI Photo by Manvender Vashist (PTI10_6_2017_000096B)

(Online Desk)

The government Thursday announced a Rs 2.50 a litre cut in petrol and diesel prices, factoring in excise duty reduction of Rs 1.50 per litre and asking oil companies to absorb another Re 1

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the excise duty cut would have an impact of Rs 10,500 crore on central government’s tax revenues

He also asked state governments to follow suit by cutting a sales tax or VAT by a similar amount

The reduction followed petrol and diesel prices touching new highs

In Delhi, where the fuel prices are the lowest among all metros and most state capital, petrol is sold at Rs 84 per litre and diesel at Rs 75.45

Jaitley said the move followed Brent crude oil touching four-year high of USD 86 a barrel Wednesday and interest rates in US reaching seven-year high

Inflation in India, however, is still moderate at less than 4 pe cent and higher direct tax collections give comfort with regard to fiscal deficit, he said adding domestic macroeconomic indicators are strong and stable, except for current account deficit (CAD).

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ruling party is facing a tough election in three key states this year followed by a national election due by May.