Karnataka fuel price hike: Rates still lower than neighbouring Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra

PTI, Jun 17, 2024, 6:55 AM IST

Representative image

New Delhi: The Congress-ruled Karnataka government’s move to raise local tax on auto fuels pushed petrol prices above Rs 100 a litre and diesel to Rs 89, but rates are lower than neighbouring Andhra Pradesh which has the costliest fuel in the country, oil industry data showed.

The Karnataka government on June 15 hiked local VAT (value added tax) from 25.92 per cent to 29.84 per cent on petrol and from 14.3 per cent to 18.4 per cent on diesel.

This led to petrol price now costing Rs 102.86 per litre in Bengaluru and diesel coming for Rs 88.94 a litre.

But the rates in Karnataka are still lower than neighbouring Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra.

TDP-BJP combine ruled Andhra Pradesh has the costliest petrol at Rs 109.87 a litre, followed by Left Democratic Front (LDF)-ruled Kerala, where a litre of petrol comes for Rs 107.54. Congress-run Telangana is close behind with petrol costing Rs 107.39 a litre.

BJP-ruled states are not far behind — petrol costs Rs 106.45 a litre in Bhopal, Rs 105.16 in Patna (BJP in coalition with JD-U), Rs 104.86 in Jaipur and Rs 104.19 in Mumbai.

Mamata Banerjee’s TMC-ruled West Bengal has petrol priced at Rs 103.93 a litre.

Other states with over Rs 100-a-litre petrol are Odisha (Rs 101.04 a litre in Bhubaneswar), Tamil Nadu (Rs 100.73 in Chennai), and Chhattisgarh (Rs 100.37 in Raipur), industry pricing data showed.

Diesel prices have almost a similar story with Amaravati in Andhra Pradesh selling the fuel at Rs 97.6 a litre, followed by Rs 96.41 a litre in Kerala’s capital Thiruvananthapuram, Rs 95.63 in Hyderabad and Rs 93.31 in Raipur.

The fuel is in the range of Rs 92-93 a litre in BJP-ruled states of Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh and Bihar. It is also in that range in Odisha and Jharkhand.

On Sunday, Oil Minister Hardeep Singh Puri compared fuel prices in Karnataka with those in BJP-ruled UP and Gujarat to target the Congress.

“After not fulfilling the promises of transferring Rs 8500/month to a woman of each family, Congress ruled Karnataka government has saddled the people of Karnataka with the burden of paying Rs 3/litre more for petrol and diesel in the state,” he said in a post on X.

“After this decision, people of Karnataka would be forced to pay higher amounts for food items, clothing, medicines and all items of basic necessities as fuel prices directly impact prices of all goods. Such a decision just after elections have been concluded, exposes the hypocrisy of the Congress which talks about mehengai but levies approximately Rs 8litre-Rs 12/litre additional VAT in comparison with BJP ruled states,” the minister wrote.

With this hike, petrol in Karnataka is now Rs 8.21/litre more expensive than both BJP-run governments in UP and Gujarat, he said.

He however did not cite rates in neighbouring BJP-ruled states.

“The price gap is even more staggering if Karnataka is compared with BJP-governed Arunachal Pradesh where the party has come back to power strongly. The petrol prices in Karnataka are over Rs 12/litre higher than in Arunachal. The price gap for diesel is Rs 8.59/litre between the two states with Arunachal being much less expensive,” he said.

Puri said during the last three years of global energy turmoil, the NDA government deftly diversified India’s crude oil purchases to ensure that petrol prices actually decreased by about 14 per cent and diesel prices fell by nearly 11 per cent during November 2021 -May 2024 period.

“During the same period, US saw petrol prices soar 29 per cent, while neighbours Pakistan and Sri Lanka faced severe financial stress due to spike in global crude prices,” he said.

“Additionally, to maintain availability and affordability of transport fuels, Modi government made a substantial and timely cut in excise duty in November 2021 and followed it up with another cut in May 2022.

“The central govt reduced petrol and diesel prices by Rs 5 per litre and Rs 10 per litre, respectively, in November 2021. Following up in May 2022, petrol and diesel prices were further cut by Rs 8 per litre and Rs 6 per litre, respectively. Again on March 14 this year, the OMCs played a vital role in reducing prices further by Rs 2/litre,” the minister said.

Puri said the BJP-run state governments aligned with the pro-people policies and reduced sales tax on transport fuels to further cut rates for the public and rein in inflationary pressures.

“For instance, petrol prices in Congress-ruled Telangana is Rs 12.76/litre higher than in UP. The difference in diesel prices between these two states is also significant at Rs 7.89/litre. Similarly, the petrol prices are Rs 9.29/ litre higher in Trinamool Congress-run West Bengal compared with BJP-run Gujarat,” he added.

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