Bring petrol, diesel under GST immediately: Chidambaram

Since 16 August petrol prices have risen by over ₹ 2 per litre. Diesel prices have risen by ₹ 2.42 a litre during this period

Fuel prices hit all-time high, petrol Rs 86.56 per litre in Mumbai

Diesel is priced at Rs 71.34 in Delhi, Rs 74.19 in Kolkata, Rs 75.74 in Mumbai and Rs 75.39 in Chennai. On September 3, 2018, the price of petrol in the city was Rs. 86.65 per litre, beating the previous all-time high of Rs. 86.25.

He said high fuel prices were mostly influenced by global factors.

Also, crude oil has gained Dollars 7 a barrel in a fortnight, driven by fears that the United States sanctions on Iran will likely contract supplies.

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"Apart from that, crises in countries like Venezuela and Iran are increasing".

The recent slump in the rupee also has lifted the import cost of crude oil, subsequently raising fuel prices. There is a pressure on oil prices due to decrease in production. "The prices of petrol and diesel are shooting up steeply and very soon, the price of petrol might touch Rs 100 per litre", said Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu on Monday. "Secondly, global currencies have weakened against the U.S. dollar", he had said.

Arguing that one can not blame the state government for rising prices, he said the Centre and states must act together and bring petrol and diesel under GST.

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Meanwhile, Maharashtra transporters, burdened with diesel price hikes for a fortnight, have threatened to agitate and increase freight rates by 10-15% if there is no control or reduction in rates. In July, it cut its oil production by an average of 200,000 barrels per day - a move that has created oil shortage in global market.

Roodt said he thinks the government has drawn on crude oil reserves that "had been hidden somewhere" or "they had a spare pot of cash somewhere in the ministry" to make the intervention possible.

Earlier, France-based BNP Paribas had said that because of the USA sanctions on Iran, oil production from the OPEC would come down from an average of 32.1 million barrels per day in 2018 to 31.7 million in 2019.

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"Due to the high dependence on imports of crude oil to meet domestic consumption, an increase in crude oil prices increases the current account deficit which is weighing down on the Rupee", it added.

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