Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Thursday lauded Prime Minister Narendra Modi's decision of reducing the excise duty on petrol and diesel and said that the step gives "a big relief to the general public on Diwali."
The Home Minister also said the relief given is a very sensitive decision even after the increased prices at the international level.
Taking to Twitter, Shah said: "Prime Minister Narendra Modi ji has given a big relief to the general public on Diwali by reducing the excise duty on petrol and diesel by Rs 5 and Rs 10 respectively."
"This relief given is a very sensitive decision even after the increased prices at the international level. I thank Modi Ji for this," he added.
In a relief to consumers, the Finance Ministry on Wednesday announced a Rs 5 per litre cut in excise duty on petrol and a Rs 10 per litre cut in excise duty on diesel. Amid record-high fuel prices, this is the first cut in central excise duties in over three years.
The Finance Ministry had also urged the states "to commensurately reduce" VAT on petrol and diesel to give relief to consumers. Following this, several state governments including Goa, Assam, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Karnataka which are led by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) are among others reduced VAT on the two petroleum products.
Reacting on this, Amit Shah said that the states have done a "commendable job."
"Under the leadership of Modi ji, the state governments of BJP have also done a commendable job of providing more relief to the people by further reducing the prices of petrol and diesel. PM Narendra Modi. This gift of Diwali to the countrymen will not only bring relief to the common man but will also reduce inflation," Shah tweeted in Hindi.
Petrol and diesel had been seeing an upward trend. The prices rose for seven consecutive days till Tuesday. On Wednesday, the rates remained unchanged.
The price of petrol in the national capital had crossed the Rs 110 mark on Tuesday while the price of diesel stood at Rs 98.4 per litre. With the cut in excise duty, petrol will cost Rs 103.97 per litre while diesel will cost Rs 86.67 per litre.
A steady rise in crude oil prices and the elevated taxes — both central excise duty as well as state taxes — that have been in effect since May 2020 have played a key role in pushing the price of auto fuels over the pre-Covid retail price levels.
Between February and May last year, the government increased excise duties on petrol and diesel by Rs 13 per litre and Rs 16 per litre respectively amid a sharp decline in revenues due to the Covid-19 pandemic and related restrictions.
While the price of petrol rose by 46.4 per cent and that of diesel by about 45 per cent since January 2020, the price of crude oil has risen by only 20 per cent. (ANI)