Bharat Bandh: Petrol, diesel prices continue to breach record levels on Monday

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"Now, the crude oil costs $70 per barrel, but the Centre is increasing the petrol and diesel prices abnormally every day", he said.

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu on Monday announced a reduction in petrol and diesel price by Rs 2 each, in the state.

A recent report by news agency Press Trust of India (PTI) quoted a top government official as saying that the government will not cut excise duty on petrol and diesel to cushion spiralling prices, as it has limited fiscal space available to take any dent in revenue collections. The petrol price in Mumbai continues to inch closer to Rs 90.

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Consumers of petrol and diesel saw the steepest hike in prices on Friday after the price revision started on a daily basis from May 1 onwards.

Naidu, the chief of the Telugu Desam Party that was part of the ruling National Democratic Alliance till recently, made the announcement in the state assembly after holding a high-level meeting in the wake of the Bharat Bandh call given by the Congress and other opposition parties in the country. On Tuesday, former Finance Minister P Chidambaram had tweeted: "Relentless rise in prices of petrol and diesel is not inevitable". It crossed the Rs 80-mark for the first time in New Delhi yesterday.

Petrol prices were increased to Rs 88.12, Rs 83.61 and Rs 83.91 per litre in Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai respectively on Monday. The continuous rise in diesel prices has complicated matters for truckers. The opposition has demanded the central government to cut excise duty on fuel prices.

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The fuel prices are likely to go up further as the rupee hit yet another all-time low of ₹72.

Meanwhile, the Rajasthan government announced a four percent reduction in value-added tax (VAT) on petrol and diesel on September 9.

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