As petrol and diesel pries soar, the government is yet to consider lowering of the excise duty, Minister for Petroleum & Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan told Rajya Sabha on Wednesday.

The price of petrol has reached ₹94.12 per litre in Mumbai, having risen 4 per cent since the start of the year.

“There is no such proposal (to reduce taxes on petrol and diesel) at present,” Pradhan told Parliament. “Taxes are increased or decreased depending on several factors like requirement of the government, market situation etc.”

The Central government has relied primarily on the excise duty from diesel and petrol for revenue throughout the Covid-19-induced economic contraction, when other streams of revenue dried up. In the first half of 2020, when crude prices slumped as economies across the world shut down to contain coronavirus, the government had followed its long-standing strategy of hiking the excise duty, instead of passing the benefit of lower crude prices onto consumers.

Now, as crude prices climb back up amid oil producing nations’ decision to restrict supply, retail prices in India are expected to touch ₹100 per litre unless the excise duty is lowered.

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