Until this morning, there was no confirmation that the Congress chief, who was on the Kailash Mansarovar pilgrimage for around 10 days, would take part in the nationwide protest called by his party over rising fuel prices.
Govt rules out excise duty cut as petrol, diesel A cut in taxes on petrol and diesel is ruled out for now as neither the central government nor some states have the appetite to stomach revenue loss from such a move, a top government official.
Pradhan had in May this year - when petrol, diesel prices had reached their earlier peaks - said that the government is working on a long-term solution to reign in fuel prices when they reach uncomfortable levels.
On Tuesday, former Finance Minister P Chidambaram had stated that the "Relentless rise in prices of petrol and diesel is not inevitable".
Led by Congress, the parties have demanded that fuel prices be brought under the ambit of Goods and Services Tax (GST), which will bring down prices by Rs 15 to Rs 18. Petrol price has risen by Rs 3.65 a litre and diesel by Rs 4.06 per litre - the biggest increase in rates witnessed in any month since the launch of daily price revision in mid-June previous year.
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"We are pained to note that such important issues like fuel price hike, inflation and falling rupee that affect every citizen have not figured in the BJP's national executive and they are still giving empty slogans. If taxes are cut, prices will decline significantly".
Mumbai has the highest tax rates among the metros. The reduction was carried out on May 31 in such a manner that the prices of both petrol and diesel will drop by a rupee.
Nonetheless, given the transportation cost, the fuel prices in Kerala are higher than even states where there is a higher sales tax.
Mumbai has the highest Value-Added Tax of 39.12 per cent on petrol, while Telangana levies the highest Value-Added Tax of 26 per cent on diesel. At the same time, the diesel prices too marched ahead and was priced at Rs 78.83 per litre. The tax imposed by the Centre on petrol (including customs and excise duties, and other cesses) is 52.75 per cent, and on diesel is 38.53 per cent. So states get Rs 30 out of Rs 42 collected as taxes.